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Annual FERPA Training

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is dedicated to following the guidelines set forth by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), also known as the Buckley Amendment. FERPA is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. Students have specific protected rights regarding the release of education records, and the law requires that institutions—especially institutions that receive federal funding—adhere to the guidelines.

Staff and faculty who have access to student information are charged with the responsibility of handling that information in a protective manner that complies with all FERPA regulations. It is, therefore, imperative that all university personnel with access to student information maintain a working knowledge of FERPA requirements before they consider releasing any type of student education record, including grades and grade rolls, class rolls, Degree Audit Reports (DARs), academic history reports, class schedules, etc.

In order to ensure that faculty and staff understand FERPA policies, the Office of the University Registrar has implemented a FERPA training program.

This semester, all Knoxville campus faculty and staff are required to thoroughly review the online presentation that details FERPA policies and procedures. View the FERPA training presentation. You must enter your NetID and password to view the presentation. The registrar will track participation in the program, and we expect to have 100 percent participation by December 8, 2017.

We hope the information is useful to you in your everyday interactions with students and student information. If you have questions, please visit the university’s FERPA website, contact the Office of the University Registrar at 865-974-1501, or email

Join Me at the Veterans Resource Center Dedication This Friday

I’m so proud that our campus is known as a welcoming place for veterans, and our new Veterans Resource Center will make it even more welcoming. Though the center opened this summer, I hope you will join me to officially dedicate it this week.

Friday, November 17
10 a.m.
Hodges Library First Floor Galleria

The new Veterans Resource Center offers assistance and guidance to active duty service members, veterans, reservists, guardsmen, and family members using VA educational benefits.

Contact the Veterans Resource Center at 865-974-5420 with any questions.

Candidates for Vice Chancellor for Research to Visit Campus

I am pleased to announce that four candidates for the position of vice chancellor for research will visit campus over the next few weeks.
As part of their visits, each candidate will lead a public forum for the campus community and respond to questions following their presentations. The campus community is invited to provide feedback on each candidate.
Stacey Patterson, interim vice president for research, outreach, and economic development for the UT System, is chairing the search.
The candidates are as follows:
Lynne E. Parker
Open Forum: 2-3 p.m. Wednesday, November 8, in Plant Biotechnology Building Room 156/157
Parker is the associate dean for faculty affairs and engagement in UT’s Tickle College of Engineering. Parker provides leadership and direction for the college’s tenure and promotion processes, the hiring, orientation, and annual reviews of college faculty, and the college’s engagement programs. She also is an adjunct distinguished research and development staff member at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Previously she was the director of the information and intelligent systems division of the National Science Foundation’s computer and information science and engineering directorate. Parker has a doctorate in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Mark A. Johnson
Open Forum: 2-3 p.m. Thursday, November 9, in Lindsay Young Auditorium, Hodges Library
Johnson is a research professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at North Carolina State University. Until recently, he also was the director of the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. In that role, Johnson oversaw the office’s research, development, and deployment activities. Previously he was a program director in the energy section of the DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency. Johnson has a doctorate in materials science and engineering from North Carolina State University.
Grace M. Bochenek
Open Forum: 2-3 p.m. Thursday, November 16, in Plant Biotechnology Building Room 156/157
Bochenek is the laboratory director of the US Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In that role, Bochenek oversees energy and environmental research and development programs at the laboratory’s campuses and strategic business offices. She was appointed acting secretary of the US Department of Energy by President Barack Obama during the transition of administrations in January 2017 and served until March 2017. She has a doctorate in industrial and systems engineering from the University of Central Florida.
Victor R. McCrary Jr.
Open Forum: 2-3 p.m. Tuesday, November 28, in Plant Biotechnology Building Room 156/157
McCrary is the vice president for research and economic development at Morgan State University. McCrary is charged with developing a university-wide research ecosystem, augmenting the university’s intellectual property portfolio, and overseeing externally funded contracts, grants, and technology transfer. Previously he was the emerging technology and innovation manager at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. McCrary has a doctorate in physical chemistry from Howard University.
View each candidate’s curriculum vitae on the position search website.
I hope you will make plans to attend the forums and share your feedback.

Outsourcing Update

I write to inform you that I have decided to opt out of the proposed plan to outsource facilities management. This decision was reached after considerable analysis of proposed savings and a close examination of our current and future operations.

I am deeply indebted to our staff, led by Senior Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Chris Cimino, who has worked diligently since 2015 to evaluate outsourcing on the Knoxville campus.

The goal of the proposed outsourcing plan was to improve efficiencies and determine what is in the best interest of our campus. We thank the state and the UT System administration for challenging us to engage in extensive cost analyses and an evaluation of our practices, which have led to cost-saving operational changes in keeping with the outsourcing goals.

My decision to opt out was based on the extensive analyses of the financial considerations, the complexity of the work done on our research-intensive campus, and our commitment to the East Tennessee economy and our workforce. It is for these reasons that I have decided outsourcing facilities management is not the best option for our campus.

Since the approval of the 2011 campus master plan, we have invested heavily in our facilities and infrastructure. In fact, we have increased the space we enhance and the buildings we maintain by more than 100 acres and one and a half million square feet.

During this historic period of growth, we have reduced operating expenses, become more efficient, avoided costs and subsequently reallocated savings to the academic mission. In fact, we rank among the lowest in the SEC in administrative and maintenance costs per square foot. Five-year projections indicate an additional $3.3 million in savings.

I want to thank the numerous people who have spent countless hours evaluating the outsourcing option. I have had dozens of meetings, received volumes of mail, and had detailed conversations with a wide range of constituents. I value all of this input and appreciate the opportunity to make a decision based on the best interests of our campus.

Most sincerely,

Beverly J. Davenport

Thank You!

Last Friday I had the honor and pleasure of being invested as the eighth chancellor of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. I cannot express how meaningful and memorable the ceremony was on so many different levels. Thank you to each and every person who attended, including our faculty, staff, and students; special guests; and colleagues from colleges and universities across the region and around the country. I am especially grateful to all the faculty who participated in the academic processional.

If you were at the event, you heard from University of Tennessee System President Joe DiPietro, Interim Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor John Zomchick, Professor of English Marilyn Kallet, and my son, Ford Sypher. I so appreciated their words of support, encouragement, and inspiration.

In my remarks, I outlined a vision for the university, a call for us to be our better selves, a call to want more, be more, and do more. I talked about the Tennessee and Volunteer difference and focused on the journey that moves more programs into the Top 25, joining nuclear engineering, supply chain management, accounting, art, and architecture, just to name a few.

I also was proud to share my vision of our campus:

  • We will be a campus of civility and respect. We will stand up for each other and against bigotry and racism.
  • We will value and welcome honest and informed intellectual debate.
  • As a point along the corridor that’s been identified as the Maker Belt, we stand ready to promote innovation and entrepreneurship with job-ready graduates.
  • We will be outward facing and known by our partnerships with the city, state, other educational institutions, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. And we will put the city of Knoxville at the forefront, because great universities need great cities and great cities need great universities.
  • We will demonstrate our commitment to student success and access by enrollment growth, increased scholarships, advising, and partnerships with other institutions.
  • We will be a torchbearer for inclusiveness, which at its core means respect for others and their contributions.

These are the things that differentiate Volunteers from others. We are servants, leaders, torchbearers, competitors, and winners—and we are the first and the only Volunteers!

Choral performers from the UT Singers and UT Chamber Singers closed out the afternoon with a powerful rendition of one of my favorite songs, Andra Day’s “Rise Up.” To say it was moving is an understatement. What beauty and power our students brought to the stage.

Thank you for entrusting and supporting me with the leadership of this 223 year old institution. As Rosabeth Moss Kanter said, “A vision is not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more.”

Thank you for rising up with me to be the best version of our Volunteer selves.



Chancellor Davenport Shares Message of Hope and Kindness at Investiture

Chancellor Beverly Davenport shared a message of hope and kindness after being formally welcomed as the campus’ top leader.

Higher education and community leaders along with faculty, staff, and students celebrated the event, held October 13 in the Cox Auditorium of the Alumni Memorial Building.

Watch the ceremony online and view photos from the event.

After being introduced by her son, Ford Sypher, Davenport emphasized what sets the university apart from others in a competitive marketplace.

“When others are struggling to differentiate themselves from the 4,000 other universities in this country, who will we be? First, we will be the campus that stands up for each other.

“We will be kind. We will be welcoming. We will be civil. We will wait out the naysayers,” she said. “We will not back down or close our eyes or our hearts to bigotry or racism or hatred or fascism. There is no place for injustice at the University of Tennessee. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’”

Davenport stressed the need for campus-wide civil and respectful debate.

“We will open our campus to honest and informed intellectual debate—the fundamental hallmark of higher learning that teaches our students how to think critically and what to think about, whether it is the economy, taxes, scientific discoveries, health care, education, affordable housing, food scarcity, clean air, water, and more. But never is it our position to tell students what to think. These are positions for which they are to wrestle,” said Davenport.

Davenport noted the challenges happening across the nation and the world.

“The nation is divided. Our communities are divided. The world is divided. But education, and higher education specifically, remains the surest path to solving the world’s grand challenges. It remains the surest path to social mobility,” she said.

The ceremony featured the UT Singers and the UT Chamber Singers. It concluded with a stirring rendition of one of Davenport’s favorite songs, “Rise Up,” a rhythm and blues song first released by singer Andra Day.

UT System President Joe DiPietro and UT Trustee Sharon Pryse presented Davenport with the chancellor’s medallion, ceremoniously marking her installation as the eighth chancellor of UT’s flagship campus.

DiPietro said solid leadership is critical for fulfilling the university’s evolving mission.

“We do more at the University of Tennessee than just educate the next generation, make breakthrough discoveries, or connect with people across the state through outreach.

“As a result of our efforts to educate, discover, and connect, mentors are found, role models are met, and aspirations are revealed,” DiPietro said. “We change the lives of others, sometimes even the very direction of those lives. Because we were inspired to be more, we understand others can be more, and we seek to inspire them.”

Davenport said the university is well positioned to tackle grand challenges that impact so many people. Read the full investiture speech.

“Rural problems are often the same as urban problems: access to quality and affordable health care, educational equity, living wage jobs, opioid addiction, human trafficking, multigenerational poverty, affordable housing, attracting talent to our region, keeping our water and mountains safe,” she said.

“These are our cities’ problems, our state’s problems, and our nation’s problems. These are problems the University of Tennessee is working to solve. We must and we will be a part of the solutions. And on many levels, we already are.”

Twenty-three universities either sent representatives to be a part of the processional or designated UT faculty who earned their degrees from their institution to be part of the ceremony.

Among them were Harvard University, Columbia University, the University of Georgia, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Cincinnati, Indiana University, George Washington University, the University of Iowa, the University of Florida, the University of Kansas, the University of Kentucky, Purdue University, Virginia Tech, Vanderbilt University, and Western Kentucky University.

SGA Issues a Proclamation and a Welcome Video for Chancellor Davenport

Proclamation for Chancellor Davenport

Whereas, it is the honor of the Student Government Association to recognize and commend efforts that contribute to a better University of Tennessee; and

Whereas, Chancellor Beverly Davenport, the eighth chancellor of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is advancing positive, impactful change for our campus community; and

Whereas, Chancellor Davenport is committed to creating an environment that makes all people feel welcome and respected at this university; and

Whereas, Chancellor Davenport is dedicated to and working toward launching tomorrow’s leaders, enhancing the student experience, and increasing student success; and

Whereas, the great compassion demonstrated by Chancellor Davenport has impacted the lives of current students and will continue to benefit students for years to come; and

Whereas, we salute Chancellor Davenport, who truly exemplifies the Volunteer spirit and has a passion for altruism;

Now, therefore, be it hereby resolved that the Student Government Association issues this proclamation in honor and celebration of Chancellor Beverly Davenport on the occasion of her investiture, October 13, 2017.



Read the full proclamation on the SGA website

Search Under Way for Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor

A national search is under way for the next provost and senior vice chancellor for UT Knoxville.

As a member of my senior leadership team, the provost and senior vice chancellor provides exemplary leadership, strategic direction, and a bold vision for the academic mission of UT Knoxville.

Candidates should have the demonstrated vision, leadership, and management skills necessary for overseeing all academic divisions and working collaboratively with other members of the leadership team, the UT System administration, and other partners.

Victoria Niederhauser, dean of the College of Nursing, is chairing the search.

Committee members are:

  • Kari Alldredge, vice provost for enrollment management
  • Teri Dobbins Baxter, associate dean for faculty development in the College of Law
  • Sergio Bedford, president of the Graduate Student Senate
  • Ernest Brothers, associate dean in the Graduate School
  • Michelle Buchanan, deputy for science and technology at Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Vincent Carilli, vice chancellor for student life
  • Matt Devereaux, professor of family and consumer science in UT Extension
  • Jeffrey Fairbrother, associate dean for academic and faculty affairs in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences
  • Morgan Hartgrove, president of the Student Government Association
  • India Lane, interim vice president for academic affairs and student success in the UT System
  • Theresa Lee, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
  • Tyvi Small, executive director of talent management, diversity, and community relations in the Haslam College of Business
  • John Stier, associate dean in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources
  • Carol Tenopir, Chancellor’s Professor and Board of Visitors Professor in the College of Communication and Information
  • Teresa Walker, associate dean for learning, research, and engagement in UT Libraries
  • David Wolitz, associate professor in the College of Law
  • The full position description will be posted to the Human Resources page soon.

A recruiting team from Isaacson, Miller has been contracted to assist with the search. Nominations, applications, and confidential inquiries should be directed to Isaacson, Miller Vice President Michael Baer, or 202-216-2274, or Managing Associate Natalie Leonhard, or 202-552-5511.

Search Under Way for Vice Chancellor for Research

A national search is under way for the next vice chancellor for research for UT Knoxville.

As a member of my senior leadership team, the vice chancellor for research serves as the chief research officer of the university and works to promote research and economic development activities, particularly in collaboration with Oak Ridge National Laboratory through UT-Battelle LLC and other research and development institutions in the state and region.

Candidates should have the demonstrated vision and leadership and management skills necessary to drive the growth of scholarship, research, and creative activity at our research-extensive university. See the job description on the Human Resources website.

Stacey Patterson, interim vice president for research, outreach, and economic development for the UT System, is chairing the search. Committee members are Suzie Allard, professor of information sciences and associate dean for research for the College of Communication and Information; Suresh Babu, UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair for Advanced Manufacturing; Chris Cimino, senior vice chancellor for finance and administration; Mickey Curtis Jr., an undergraduate who serves as vice president of the Student Government Association; Wayne T. Davis, professor and dean of the Tickle College of Engineering; Amy J. Elias, professor of English and director of the UT Humanities Center; Heidi Goodrich-Blair, professor and department head of microbiology; Jamie Alexander Greig, a graduate student and vice president of the Graduate Student Senate; Jean Mercer, assistant vice chancellor for research and director of the Office of Sponsored Programs; Jeffrey Nichols, associate laboratory director for Computing and Computational Sciences at ORNL; and Soren Sorensen, professor of physics.

I encourage you to refer or nominate qualified candidates to Brooke Swart, associate executive recruiter in UT Human Resources, 865-974-5942 or

The committee’s review of candidate materials will begin September 20. Recruitment for the position will continue until it is filled. To apply electronically, visit the position announcement and application page.

Together on Rocky Top

Watch the Video Message from the Chancellor

In light of events taking place on college campuses around the country as well as in our own community, I want to share a message with our Volunteer family about civility, free speech, and safety.

Beverly Davenport

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.

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