Dean of the College of Law

I want to let you know that Doug Blaze is beginning his final year as dean of the College of Law. He has decided to return to teaching full time, and we look forward to his continued service to the college as a member of the faculty.

The search for a new dean is underway. The goal is to fill the position by July 2015.

Bob Rider, dean of the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences, is chairing the search. Committee members, all from the College of Law, are Teri Baxter, professor; Scott Childs, associate professor and associate dean for library and technology services; Michael Higdon, associate professor and director of legal writing; Alex Long, professor; Teresa Peterson, budget director; Brianna Powell, second-year student; Joy Radice, associate professor; Paula Schaefer, associate professor; and Greg Stein, associate dean for faculty development and the Woolf, McClane, Bright, Allen & Carpenter Distinguished Professor of Law.

Read a full description of the position.

End of the Semester Academic Procedures

To: UT Faculty, Staff, and Students
From: Sally J. McMillan, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs

It is hard to believe it is mid-April and the end of the semester is upon us. Before we begin to think about the summer, I write to remind you of the following policies, drawn from the Academic Policies and Procedures section of the Undergraduate Catalog. Thank you in advance for your cooperation, and please contact me at vpaa@utk.edu should you have any questions.

Final Examinations

“Final exams must be given during the final exam period at the scheduled time and in the scheduled place, although alternative uses of the scheduled exam period may be designated by the instructor.” Professors assigning take-home final examinations and/or papers should make them due in class during the scheduled final exam period (see FERPA note below).

“Students are not required to take more than two exams on any day. The instructor(s) of the last non-departmental exam(s) on that day must reschedule the student’s exam during the final exam period.” Some units offer departmental exams in which one, common exam period is assigned to all sections of a particular course. These exams should not be rescheduled. Please note the following: “It is the obligation of students with such conflicts to make appropriate arrangements with the instructor at least two weeks prior to the end of classes” (meaning April 11 was the last day to make such arrangements).

And finally, please note this end of semester regulation:

“No in-class written quizzes or tests counting more than 10 percent of the semester grade may be given the last five calendar days prior to the study period” (meaning April 23 is the last day to give quizzes or tests counting more than 10 percent of the semester grade).

The Grade of Incomplete

“Under extraordinary circumstances and at the discretion of the instructor, the grade of I (Incomplete) may be awarded to students who have satisfactorily completed a substantial portion of the course but cannot complete the course for reasons beyond their control.” Also, please note that “the grade of I is not issued in lieu of the grade F,” and that “students may not remove an I grade by re-enrolling in the course” (sitting in on the same course next semester).

Academic Standards of Conduct

Students must keep the honor statement in mind as they prepare for final examinations and papers. Examples of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to, “copying without proper documentation written or spoken words, phrases, or sentences from any source, collaborating on a graded assignment without instructor’s approval, and submitting work, either in whole or part, created by a professional service.” Contact the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (http://web.utk.edu/~osja/ or 974-3171) for more information and links to campus resources.

 A Final Note Concerning the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA):

In light of the provisions of this act, please do not ask students to submit assignments in open mailboxes or in any other unattended public venues (boxes in the hallway, envelopes taped to doors, and the like). Graded assignments for student retrieval likewise should not be made available in such public venues. Grades should not be posted publicly using student ID numbers or Social Security Numbers, nor should the students’ names be linked with their IDs in any public manner. More information on FERPA can be found at http://ferpa.utk.edu/.

Thank you, and have a great end of the semester!

 

2014 Spring Cleanup

To: UT Faculty and Staff
From: Susan Martin, Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor

The Spring Cleanup has been a great success in its first two years. The 2014 spring-cleaning effort kicks off on March 17. We hope that you will join us as we begin the process again this semester.

Campus departments should use the Spring Cleanup program as an opportunity to remove surplus equipment, used furniture, trash, and recyclables.

Last year, 102 tons of surplus equipment and furniture were removed from campus academic buildings, along with 260 cubic yards of construction trash and eighty cubic yards of scrap metal that were recycled.

Facilities Services and UT Warehousing are dedicating special resources to support the cleanup again this year and make it easier to move property out of your buildings. Staff from Facilities Services will go building-by-building to help units simplify the process. Computer and laboratory equipment, furniture, office supplies, paper files, and more may be recycled, discarded, or sent to UT Warehousing.

The cleanup will begin with the Science & Engineering Research Facility on March 17, and will continue for fifteen weeks to include most academic buildings. (A complete schedule is available at the end of this message.) Academic units will be reminded of their upcoming cleanup dates via e-mail, and updates and schedule reminders will also appear in Tennessee Today.

Some new and recently renovated buildings were not scheduled, but any department can contact UT Warehousing at any time to arrange a pick-up of surplus property.

Some work is required of departments to prepare for their cleanup week.

Campus units should download UT Warehousing’s surplus property form at http://utk.edu/go/ol (pdf), and submit the completed form the week before their cleanup is scheduled to begin. Submissions should be faxed to the number included on the form.

If you have computers to surplus, download the computer surplus form at http://utk.edu/go/om (pdf). If you have equipment that will require decontamination, download the surplus equipment decontamination form at http://utk.edu/go/on. Learn more about surplus property on the UT Warehousing website at http://utk.edu/go/ok.

The cleanup aims to improve the look of our campus facilities and ensure their safety. I look forward to another successful Spring Cleanup and hope you will participate in this important effort.

2014 Spring Cleanup Schedule

  • March 17   21: Science & Engineering Research Facility. Surplus forms due the week of March 10.
  • March 31   April 4: Perkins and Ferris halls. Surplus forms due the week of March 17.
  • April 7   11: Estabrook Hall, East Stadium, and South Stadium. Surplus forms due the week of March 31.
  • April 14   17: Hodges Library and the Communications & University Extension Building. Surplus forms due the week of April 7.
  • April 21   25: Alumni Memorial Building and Burchfiel Geography Building. Surplus forms due the week of April 14.
  • May 5   9: Taylor Law Center, Blount Hall, and TANDEC. Surplus forms due the week of April 21.

 

Join us for Mic/Nite March 13

 

Mic/Nite is Thursday, March 13.

Social hour begins at 5:30 p.m.
Presentations begin at 6:40 p.m.

The Relix Variety Theatre
1208 North Central Avenue

Twice a year, the Provost’s Office hosts Mic/Nite, a “Pecha-Kucha Powered” social gathering in order to enhance the intellectual, interdisciplinary, and cultural life of the faculty and staff at UT Knoxville.

RSVP to be eligible for door prizes.

• Free admission
• Cash bar
• Pizza
• Door prizes

Apply Now for the 2014–15 Leadership Program

Faculty and exempt staff interested in exploring leadership roles on campus can apply now to be part of the 2014–15 class of the UT Knoxville Leadership Program. The deadline is February 14.

The program requires a one-year commitment. It will begin with a one-week leadership intensive retreat in May 2014 and continue with summer readings, reflection assignments, and monthly meetings during the academic year. Readings, speakers, and discussions will focus on personal development, leadership, and specific higher education concerns.

Applicants must have worked at UT for at least five years and be recommended by their dean, department head, supervisor, or other appropriate administrator.

Deans or department heads should submit the applications electronically to Melanie Finnegan. Required documents include the applicant’s current resume or vita; letters of recommendation from the dean, department head, supervisor, or other relevant administrator; a short essay on what the applicant would like to achieve through participation in the leadership program; and a short essay on his/her leadership and career goals. Interviews may also be conducted.

Those selected to participate will be notified by March 2014.

For more information, e-mail Melanie Finnegan.

Update: Choosing a New Quality Enhancement Plan

Within the next few weeks, we hope to announce our new Quality Enhancement Plan, an important part of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools reaccreditation process.

Since 1897, our university has been accredited by SACS to award baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Our last reaccreditation was in 2005, and we will undergo our next reaffirmation of accreditation in 2015.

As part of that process, SACS requires us to develop a QEP that focuses on an issue critical to improving student learning. Our first QEP was Ready for the World, a broad-brush effort to help our students become more internationally and interculturally aware.

During the fall semester, our QEP committee—chaired by Matthew Theriot, associate professor and director of the PhD program in the College of Social Work—developed the following list of five possible projects:

• Transforming Student Learning through Enhancing Classroom Experiences

• Lifelong Learning Skills for Decision Making, Problem Solving, Communicating, and Engaging in Research

• Problem Solving from Multidisciplinary Perspectives

• Community-Based Experiential Learning across the Curriculum

• Sophomore Success for Retention

During November and December we collected feedback on those proposed projects through an e-mail survey that was distributed to all faculty, staff, and students. We also held feedback forums for the campus community. We appreciate the input we received, and we are using it as we choose our new QEP.

Once the decision is made, we’ll begin planning how to implement the project and evaluate our success. A document outlining our efforts is due in January 2015, and our on-site SACS review is scheduled for late March 2015.

Our SACS website provides more information about the QEP development process and an ongoing way for you to provide feedback.

Ready for the World Funding Available

Ready for the World

If you have a new project in mind or want to enhance a current program, Ready for the World could help you pay for it.

Ready for the World is our campus’s international and intercultural initiative. Funding is available to help faculty, staff, and students develop projects that improve undergraduate education by increasing international and intercultural awareness.

Projects suitable for funding include on-campus activities such as guest speakers, special events, or seminars. Ready for the World can also provide seed money to establish long-term projects or international exchanges.

Funding applications are evaluated monthly.

Learn more about how you can apply for Ready for the World funds here. Funding applications are evaluated monthly.

Ready for the World was developed in 2005 as our campus’s first Quality Enhancement Plan, an important part of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools reaccreditation process. Although we’re now developing a new QEP, Ready for the World and its funding opportunities will continue.

National Scholarships Office Aims to Help More Students Earn Awards

Two students

Winning a major national scholarship, like the Rhodes or Marshall, can change a student’s life. It also underscores UT’s commitment to student success and increases our reputation as we try to become a Top 25 public research university.

Our Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships was created in 2007 to provide information and strategic guidance to UT students about nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships. Michael Handelsman, a professor of Spanish, became director in July 2011, and Nichole Fazio-Veigel was brought on a few months later as associate director.

Michael Handelsman

Handelsman and Fazio-Veigel have worked diligently to educate the campus community about scholarship opportunities and guide students through the highly competitive application processes.

Their hard work is paying off in a precedent-setting year. This past fall, senior Lindsay Lee was named a Rhodes Scholar and senior Brianna Rader was named a Marshall Scholarship finalist. More than two dozen Fulbright and other scholarship applicants are awaiting word this spring.

 

What It Takes

A critical part of the office’s job is reaching out to freshmen and sophomores to make them aware of scholarships they might want to apply for later in their college careers. While grades are important, students don’t have to be honors students to be candidates.

In years past, major national scholarship scholarships focused on academics. Now the major scholarship foundations “want to support change agents,” according to Fazio-Veigel.

Nichole Fazio-Veigel

“You don’t become a Rhodes Scholar six weeks before the deadline. You become a Rhodes Scholar because you’ve taken advantage of every opportunity the university has to offer you over four years,” Fazio-Veigel said.

To be strong contenders, students need established relationships with faculty, a history of undergraduate research, a resume of civic involvement, and meaningful study abroad experience. Students also need to give careful thought about where they want to study and how their intended studies or research will impact society.

Handelsman noted that the scholarship application process is a tremendous learning experience for students no matter what happens.

“We take pride in offering outstanding students a process that—regardless of the immediate outcome—will contribute to their long-term growth as socially responsible citizens who understand that college is a time when they have the opportunity to create themselves for the rest of their lives,” he said.

Faculty Are “Eyes and Ears”

“We have world-class faculty at UT, and we need them to be our eyes and ears,” Fazio-Veigel said. The ONSF counts on faculty to refer students who have that special spark.

Once a student is deemed a viable candidate for a particular scholarship, ONSF guides him/her through the process—keeping note of deadlines, coaching on how to write a winning application, editing essays, and staging practice interviews.

“We know what a Rhodes or a Marshall application should look like,” said Fazio-Veigel, who studied at the University of Oxford on a national scholarship and helped launch the highly successful national scholarship office at the University of Washington.

Handelsman has held multiple Fulbright Scholarships—one as a college senior and five since he’s been at UT.

Fazio-Veigel and Handelsman are also members of the National Association of Fellowship Advisers, a forum for scholarship experts to share information and tips.

Setting Sights High

The ONSF is thrilled with UT’s recent successes—and they hope the publicity generated by the awards will encourage more student and faculty involvement.

UT is still playing catch-up to other universities in producing major scholarship applicants. While we have twenty-six Fulbright applicants this year (compared to only seven last year), our peer institutions have fifty to sixty and our aspirational peers have upwards of 100.

The office has launched a new website with extensive resources and guidance for those interested in applying for nationally competitive opportunities. It also offers tips for faculty and staff on identifying and supporting potential candidates, as well as writing letters of recommendation.

Fingers Crossed

Spring is the peak of scholarship season.

Fulbright awards, as well as Goldwater and Udall Scholarships, will be announced between now and March. Critical Language Scholarships and Public Policy and International Affairs Scholarships are announced in late February. Truman Scholarships are announced in March.

“We have more applicants—and stronger applicants—than ever before,” Handelsman said. “We look forward to good news in 2014. And much more good news in the future.”

Student Scholar Spotlight

Lindsay Lee and Brianna Rader were assisted by the Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships in their quest for prestigious awards.

Lindsay Lee

Lindsay Lee, Rhodes Scholar

Lindsay Lee wants to use mathematical modeling and statistics to analyze public health policies and interventions. Her goal is to help improve health care access and equity for marginalized groups.

Lee, a senior studying math and Spanish, has been named a Rhodes Scholar, the most prestigious international award a student can earn.

She is the seventh UT student to receive a Rhodes Scholarship in the program’s 111-year history. She will begin studying statistics for applications in public health at the University of Oxford in England in the fall.

Lee, of Oak Ridge, is a Haslam Scholar and received the Steve and Laura Morris Scholarship. She has studied abroad in Barcelona and Tokyo and conducted research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and UT’s National Institute of Mathematical and Biological Synthesis. She co-chairs the Student Government Association’s academic affairs committee and is president of the Dean’s Student Advisory Council in the College of Arts and Sciences. She has been a columnist for the Daily Beacon and served as a volunteer for a children’s hospital and organizations serving the homeless.

Lee was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at age three. She founded and serves as president of Campus Disability Advocates. She led the creation of UT’s Disability Week, which was held for the second time this past fall.

Lee was also a 2013 finalist for the Truman Scholarship.

Brianna Rader, Marshall Scholarship Alternate

Briana Rader

Brianna Rader wants to work for a humanitarian organization and address health care, violence against women, malaria eradication, or the delivery of antibiotics to low-income nations.

Rader, a Haslam Scholar and senior in the College Scholars program, is an alternate for a Marshall Scholarship for graduate study in Great Britain. She was also a semifinalist for the Mitchell Scholarship.

Rader, of Knoxville, has created her own pre-med degree path in medical humanities. She plans to pursue both a medical degree and a global health degree. She’s now applying for master’s degree programs in global health in the United Kingdom and the United States. She plans to attend medical school in 2015.

She is co-founder of SEAT (Sexual Empowerment and Awareness at Tennessee) and UT’s Sex Week. She also founded Arts & Alzheimer’s–Knoxville and has participated in Clinic Vols, the American Medical Student Association, the Issues Committee, Alpha Epsilon Delta, Honors Ambassadors, and tutoring at Fulton High School.

Rader spent a mini-term in Tokyo, Japan, with her fellow Haslam Scholars and studied public health, film, and social justice in Pune, India.

UT has had only two previous Marshall Scholarship winners, Thomas Horton in 1982 and C. Thomas Mitchell in 1983.

Coming Soon: Data Portal to Aid Budgeting, Planning

Bar chart illustration

As we begin planning for the next academic year, we’re also getting closer to having more data-based metrics to help us allocate resources and evaluate programs.

The Office of Institutional Research and Assessment has built a data portal, and we’re now at the “cleaning up” stage, ensuring that the data we’ve pulled into our centralized files is both comprehensive and accurate.

In time, you’ll be able to access the portal to see what’s happening in your department.

This information—which will have to be updated continuously—will be useful as we’re budgeting each spring. It will help us to spend in ways which will better support the priorities outlined in our campus’ strategic plan, Vol Vision. These priorities include:

• bolstering undergraduate instruction and academic support to improve retention and graduation rates.

• enhancing stipends to recruit accomplished graduate students.

• improving faculty compensation and adding new faculty lines where needed.

The data will also let us see if past investments are reaping benefits and guide us in determining where we need to add funding or how we need to shift funding.

We realize this isn’t a one-size-fits-all exercise. Data must be used to inform, but doesn’t always paint the whole picture.

With this understanding in mind, we’ll be working with individual units to understand which data is most important in defining their success —whether it’s the number of undergraduates taught, the number of graduate students enrolled, the research undertaken, or other factors.

Data will help us take the guesswork out of planning, and it will give faculty, departments, colleges, and administrators important leverage when asking for additional funding.