Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

Reflecting on what we appreciate most

Dear colleagues,

As we enjoy this beautiful fall weather and approach Thanksgiving, I want to express my gratitude for our campus community.

Every day, you bring the best version of yourselves to this community, and together we’re accomplishing big things. We’ve received approval to move forward with our new strategic vision. We are educating more students than ever before, we’re investing in new buildings across campus, and we’ve launched a new campaign to remind everyone why this world needs more Volunteers.


UT Knoxville is already a top employer in our state and a top choice for students all over the country, but we are working hard to do more:

  • We will be raising the minimum wage on campus to $15 an hour beginning in January. This is the second increase to the minimum wage we’ve made in the past year, and it will include critical compression adjustments.
  • We have introduced a new suite of both merit- and need-based scholarships for Tennessee students. The UT System has also announced plans to raise the income threshold for UT Promise scholarship eligibility. All of these efforts will make it possible for us to help even more students achieve their dream of a UT education.
  • We are continuing to make investments in research and celebrating our successes. Three faculty members have been named Fulbright Scholars for the 2021–22 academic year, with research projects that focus on exploring how Europe and Asia were connected through trade routes during the Renaissance, bridging the gap between hand drawing and digital literacy, and studying the experiences of entrepreneurs in Australia feeling lonely and socially isolated.

Next week, we will be hosting events around Homecoming, Veterans Day, and First-Gen Week. I hope you will join us to celebrate, lift up our students, and make connections across campus.

Ensuring that everyone in our community feels supported, appreciated, and able to do their best work is a top priority for me and my entire leadership team. Thank you for all that you do.

Donde Plowman