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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A quarter-century of training government, industry and law enforcement personnel will be celebrated this week by the University of Tennessee Institute for Public Service.

At its annual meeting in Gatlinburg, the IPS also will plan for its second quarter-century.

UT President Joe Johnson said the institute is a model for public service programs at universities throughout the nation.

“I don’t think you’ll find any state university or land-grant college that has elevated public service to cities, counties and small businesses to the level we have,” Johnson said.

“IPS has played an important role in providing service to the state for the past 25 years. I think it will play an even larger role in the future.”

IPS was founded in 1971 from then-UT President Edward J. Boling’s vision to merge several full-time, non-agricultural units into a single operation.

The institute consists of the Municipal Technical Advisory Service, County Technical Assistance Service, Center for Government Training, Center for Industrial Services and Center for Telecommunications and Video.

The five agencies extend UT instruction, research and public service to Tennessee communities, businesses and government agencies.

Important IPS accomplishments include:

* The state’s first Solid Waste Conference, conducted by CGT in 1971.

* The National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges’ 1977 citation of IPS as a public service model “unequaled” by other state universities.

* MTAS’ launch of environmental assistance programs in 1984 for the state Department of Environment and Conservation and the Environmental Protection Agency.

* The Law Enforcement Satellite Academy of Tennessee’s first teleconference in-service training for Tennessee police in 1991.

* 837 IPS training programs attended by 28,647 persons in fiscal year 1995.

“We enjoy looking back through the years and recalling highlights from the past,” UT Vice President Sammie Lynn Puett said, “but it is even more exciting to look to the future.

“The university’s outreach mission has become a higher priority as we work with the state to move into the 21st century. The rich heritage that we celebrate today continues to provide an excellent model for us to follow.”

Contact: Sammie Lynn Puett (423-974-1542)