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UT Knoxville-UT Institute of Agriculture Reunification Update

Dear colleagues,

In January of this year, five working groups convened to brainstorm ideas on how to further the working relationship between UT Knoxville and the UT Institute of Agriculture in light of reunification.

Each group focused on one of five areas: student services, research, academic affairs and shared governance, communications and marketing, and finance and administrative processes. The groups met numerous times and recommended a series of ideas for consideration.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it required a complete refocusing on how to manage and mitigate the virus’s effect on the university. Now that systems are in place to deal with pandemic issues, it is time to revisit the excellent reports submitted by each working group.

We are pleased to announce that we have asked Kim Jensen, professor of agricultural and resource economics, to provide leadership in this effort. We have prioritized items with consideration to resource requirements and the impacts of each recommendation, and have classified them by time frame. Kim will facilitate the implementation of short-term high-priority ideas from each working group and monitor the status of implementation to ensure progress.

Working in coordination with both of us, Kim will routinely communicate with key stakeholders, including faculty, staff, and students. The ultimate goal is to implement strategies that sustain the positive momentum created through reunification and serve to advance the campus and the institute.

Please welcome Kim to this important role. We look forward to keeping you informed of the progress made.

Donde Plowman

Tim Cross
Senior Vice Chancellor and Senior Vice President for Agriculture