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My Commitment Moving Forward

Dear colleagues,

When we began celebrations for the 225th anniversary of our beloved university, who would have imagined that at the end of that year we would be working from home, teaching our classes remotely, and communicating with one another over sometimes glitchy video connections? But that’s where we are now, and I think we all should take great pride in having done so much so well with so little notice.

As I assume the role of provost, I am humbled by the immense efforts of all members of our community, who give their all for Tennessee every day. It’s great to be a Volunteer, and I’m grateful to all of you for your contributions to our mission.

There are no better operating principles for moving forward than those expressed by Chancellor Plowman: creativity, compassion, and flexibility. As provost, I will continue to be guided by these principles. In addition to these, so necessary now, I commit to the traditional principles of shared governance, transparency, and communication. Finally, during this pandemic time, I will keep in mind that burdens are not always evenly distributed.

I appeal to everyone to continue working together for the common good. Let’s stand with Chancellor Plowman and direct our attention to achieving our top priority—keeping everyone healthy and safe—and furthering our mission to provide our students with the best education possible and our world with advances in knowledge to meet grand challenges.

I look forward to hearing from you and working with you in the time ahead.

John Zomchick
Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor