Spring Update: Celebrating Our Successes
It’s been six months since we came together for the fourth annual Flagship Address in September. Just as we do every year, we used that time to reflect on our successes and consider where we’re headed as an institution. This year, as part of the speech, I laid out the disruptions facing higher education and how we can leverage our strengths as the Volunteer community to position ourselves for the future.
I couldn’t be more inspired or proud of how all of you—our students, faculty, and staff—have responded and the work we have done together since then.
From establishing two new colleges and a new school—the first major change to our academic structure in more than 50 years—to continuing the transformation of our digital communications, we are showing how adaptable and nimble a large institution can be.
As we grow and evolve as a university, we will continue to provide energizing, high-quality learning experiences and transformative research, while engaging with Tennessee communities to make life and lives better. Our faculty, staff, and students continue to be recognized for their tremendous achievements. Together, we are not only meeting challenges ahead but embracing them as we find new solutions.
We would not be where we are today—building momentum and receiving recognition from our peers as a university on the rise—without each of you. Thank you for bringing your best every day in classrooms and labs, across campus, and in our community. This has been an exceptional year—and we’re not done yet.
I hope you will take a few moments to watch the spring update.
It is spring in Tennessee. Our campus is in bloom, our students are energized, and Rocky Top is buzzing.
It is a great time to be a Volunteer.
From the successes on our athletic fields, to our laboratories and our classrooms, the momentum we are building at the University of Tennessee continues to grow.
In the last few months, we have been designated a top producer of Fulbright’s, again.
We saw our highest ever fall to spring retention rates.
We lead the country, with four faculty awarded National Endowment for the Humanities grants.
We’ve had faculty recognized with prestigious honors, including election to the National Academy of Engineering.
We have been named a Forbes best employer for the second year in a row.
We opened the new AT&T 5G lab and became one of only six universities to partner with the industry leader on advanced research initiatives.
We were selected to lead a $10 million, multi-institution research project on mobility and transportation.
And we are seeing generational success in our athletics department, keeping on pace for another strong finish in the Director’s Cup.
I’m so proud of these accomplishments, and all of you, our students, faculty and staff, whose hard work and contributions have fueled our success.
As we celebrate these recognitions, we are also focused on our future and making significant progress towards our strategic goals.
Just last month, the Board of Trustees approved proposals for three new academic units, the College of Music, the College of emerging and collaborative studies, and the baker School of Public Policy and Public Affairs.
These will be the first new colleges in 50 years. We adopted a bold new campus master plan that will guide our physical campus improvements over the next decade and accommodate our growth with new classroom, laboratory, and student spaces.
And we’re moving forward on other initiatives like our digital transformation, and the new budget allocation model. This has been an incredible year so far, and we still have a lot to look forward to.
Thank you as always for all you do to make this University of Tennessee great!