Dear faculty member,
Because you are an integral part of the University of Tennessee community, we want your thoughts on the future of our university. Recent events have demonstrated our resilience and the true meaning of the Volunteer spirit. All of our experiences—including those over the past couple of months—will help us explore what the future can and should be like for UT.
This spring we initiated a strategic visioning process, beginning with a SOAR analysis that outlines the strengths and opportunities on which we can build and identifies aspirations and results we might consider as we think about the future. Using that analysis as a launching point, Chancellor Plowman asked us to chair two groups to lead the strategic visioning effort: an executive committee composed of 24 faculty, staff, students, and community leaders, and a visioning committee of 60 members representing different groups across our Volunteer community.
The strategic visioning process began before the challenges presented by COVID-19 arose, and it is separate from the work of the Re-Imagining Fall Task Force. Our goal is to think beyond this fall and shape what our university should be over the next five to 10 years and beyond, although some of the ideas may be informed by how we are re-imagining this fall.
We are asking you to join us over the next three weeks for focused discussions about our future. Audience-specific meetings are scheduled for faculty, staff, students, alumni, and others who care about the university. Your feedback will go directly to our committees, and we are eager to hear your thoughts.
Each week we will focus on a different topic. The Big Ideas, Bright Future meetings in weeks one and three center on what UT will look like in the future and how the university can serve Tennessee. Week two will focus on gathering feedback on the draft vision, mission, and goals statements developed by the committees. We hope you will participate in all three discussions.
- May 11–15 — Big Ideas, Bright Future discussions: UT Knoxville after the pandemic
- May 18–22 — Discussions of draft vision, mission, and goals statements for UT Knoxville
- May 26–29 — Big Ideas, Bright Future discussions: UT Knoxville and Tennessee’s recovery
There will be an outreach meeting each week followed by separate meetings for tenured and tenure-track faculty. You can register for these meetings at the links above.
We know this is a very busy time for you as the semester comes to a close, and we thank you for sharing your thoughts on UT’s future.
Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor
College of Communication and Information