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News Roundup

Here are quick updates on several important issues.

UT Named Fulbright Top Producer

Earlier this month we were named one the nation’s top-producing campuses for students receiving 2018–19 Fulbright awards. With a record-setting 19 students receiving US Fulbright Student Awards last year, UT ranks fourth among public research universities and 12th among all research universities, tying with Harvard University. Read the full story.

Faculty Appreciation Never Ends

We just concluded this year’s celebration of Faculty Appreciation Week, but I’d like to again say thanks to the nearly 1,700 faculty members who define and improve our university and community by sharing their knowledge and experience through teaching and mentoring, daily interaction with students and colleagues, research, and outreach. You can still read about this year’s featured faculty and leave a shout-out for your favorite faculty member. Stay tuned for more about our plans to make faculty appreciation a year-round effort and not just a weeklong celebration.

More Ways to Celebrate Faculty

Thanks to a partnership between the Faculty Senate and UT Athletics, faculty are being honored at Vols and Lady Vols basketball games. You can also learn more about faculty accomplishments, as well as some fun facts about faculty, in daily tweets from the Faculty Senate. Follow @utfacultysenate on Twitter.

Need to Unwind?

Faculty are invited to unwind through yoga and meditation, facilitated by faculty members Joan Heminway and Casey Sams. Sessions will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Fridays beginning February 15 in Alumni Memorial Building, Room 209B. Yoga will be featured February 15 and March 1; meditation will be featured February 22 and March 8.

Copy Machine Accessibility Upgrades

Copy machines capable of producing documents accessible to those with low vision or other sight impairment will soon be in place at 11 locations across campus. It’s the start of a campaign to ensure that these machines are readily available for the campus community.

When scanning a document, most copy machines produce a PDF image that’s undecipherable to screen-reading technologies. The new functionality allows copiers to scan a document to create a PDF file that can be read by these technologies using optical character recognition, or OCR.

Read more about the new copiers.

Apply for TLI Course Enhancement Awards

Teaching and Learning Innovation recently launched its Teaching Support Awards program, which provides funding for instructors to make small changes to their teaching or course structure to enhance learning opportunities for students. Application for funding is open to all faculty, graduate student teachers, and staff members who teach classes. Applications are considered on a first-come, first-served basis with a deadline of March 15.

SACSCOC Fifth-Year Report Kickoff

The Office of the Provost will host a meeting in early March for staff and faculty serving on writing teams to review campus performance with regard to Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges standards.

The standards outlined by SACSCOC’s principles of accreditation, which were revised in 2017, require the university to be data-driven, to regularly and systematically review our policies and processes, to reevaluate our student learning outcomes, and to make improvements based on current results in conjunction with analyses from previous years.

UT was last reaffirmed in 2015, and we will submit our fifth-year interim report in March 2021. Contact Heather Hartman ( or Ashley Browning (, 865-974-9758) for information.

Quality Program Assessment

Members of the Assessment Steering Committee recently completed institutional-level reviews of our 2017–18 academic program assessment reporting. Feedback is available to program faculty in the Campus Labs planning module and has been shared with deans and associate deans.

Committee members will be contacting program faculty to ensure that the feedback is clear and helpful for making improvements to the assessment planning and reporting process. Members of the committee will be scheduling meetings in the next few weeks to offer special assistance to faculty in programs that earned less than satisfactory ratings.