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Progress on Academic Structures

I want to update you on our progress since we announced our academic structures plans. Colleagues from across campus have begun the work of putting the plans into action.

College of Innovation and Convergent Studies (working title)

Interim Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Ozlem Kilic is leading development of the college, which will be an incubator and home for new degree programs drawn from multiple colleges and disciplines while responding to changes in fields of inquiry and emerging workforce opportunities.

A working group consisting of faculty members Alex Bentley, Kristina Gordon, Sarah Lowe, and Abebe Rorissa—along with Director of Academic Finance Michael Bookmyer in the Office of the Provost—is assisting Dr. Kilic in preparing the required proposal for the creation of the new academic unit, which will go first to the UT Board of Trustees and then to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) for approval. Our goal is to present the proposal for the new academic unit to our Board at its February 2023 meeting.

Once the proposal for the new unit is prepared, Dr. Kilic will convene a broad advisory group to provide guidance on programs and curricula, bylaws, student recruitment strategies, and faculty engagement. She will also be visiting with stakeholders to gather feedback and discuss opportunities for the new unit.

For more information and updates, please visit the College of Integrative and Convergent Studies update page.

College of Music

The new College of Music will also be presented to the Board of Trustees in February 2023 and then to THEC for approval. Dr. Jeff Pappas is leading development of the THEC proposal in coordination with the Provost’s Office.

Baker School of Public Policy and Public Affairs

The new school will be presented to the Board of Trustees in February 2023 and thereafter to THEC. Dr. Marianne Wanamaker and her team at the Baker Center, in coordination with the Provost’s Office, are developing the THEC proposal. A university-wide task force released its report in October on the conversion of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy into a School of Public Policy and Public Affairs. Learn more about the task force’s recommendations.

Pilot divisional structure within Arts and Sciences

RJ Hinde, interim executive dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, is gathering input from multiple stakeholders within the college to shape the new divisional structure. He has organized three divisional task forces to collect input from faculty and staff across the college.

  • Arts & Humanities: Justin Arft, Classics; Joshua Bienko, Art; Erin Darby, Religious Studies; Samantha Murphy, English; David Palmer, Philosophy; Drew Paul, Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures; and Joe Payne, Theatre
  • Natural Sciences & Mathematics: Nina Fefferman, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Liz Fozo, Microbiology; Anne Ho, Mathematics; Kate Jones, Physics and Astronomy; Brian Long, Chemistry; Colin Sumrall, Earth and Planetary Sciences; Albrecht Von Arnim, Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology
  • Social Sciences: Derrick Brooms, Africana Studies; Harry Dahms, Sociology; Joanne Devlin, Anthropology; Erin Hardin, Psychology; Will Jennings, Political Science; Liem Tran, Geography

The pilot divisional structure does not require approval by our Board of Trustees or THEC. For more information and updates, go to the College of Arts and Sciences information page about the divisional structure.

Thank you to all the faculty and staff who are working together to move our new structures forward.

We will continue to feature updates as we make progress on realizing these exciting plans. Status updates and additional information are available on the academic structures webpage.

John Zomchick
Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor