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Plowman Celebrates Record Enrollment, Retention during Inside Tennessee Interview

Chancellor Donde Plowman celebrated the university’s record enrollment and touted new student success initiatives during an appearance on WBIR-TV’s Inside Tennessee ahead of the new academic year.

“So many things have taken off in such a great direction last year, and I’m just going to relish the moments,” Plowman said in a wide-ranging interview with anchor Robin Wilhoit. “Everyone is just excited to get back and ‘Let’s go!’”

UT will again have its largest first-year class on record, with students coming from all over Tennessee and the country for the start of classes on August 24. The university is also seeing a record number of students coming back for their sophomore year, an indication that UT’s investments in student success are paying off.

Plowman said the university is anticipating an increase in retention rates this year.

“Two years ago, we stood up a division of student success—so one office that wakes up every day thinking about retention rates and graduation,” Plowman said. She described the Vol Success Team assigned to each incoming student as one of the initiatives making a difference. The university has announced a new program to support incoming student veterans and has developed similar programs for other student groups.

“I am thrilled with the results so far—and honestly, I think it’s part of why kids want to come to school here,” she said.

Watch the preview of the interview at the link that follows.

To watch all four parts click here.