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KNOXVILLE — UT employees eager to improve communications among faculty, staff and senior administration are invited to the February Brown Bag Luncheon.

“Talking Among Ourselves -– An Update on Internal Communications at UT” is sponsored by the Exempt Staff Council (ESC). Open to all UT employees, the event begins at noon Feb. 27 in the Shiloh Room of the University Center.

Hank Dye, UT’s vice president for public and government relations, will lead a discussion on UT’s plans to better inform staff about campus, system and state government activities. In 2006, more than 300 faculty and staff of each UT campus and institute participated in an internal communications study, identifying concerns and perceptions about communication. Dye will note some of the statewide findings and the plans that are under way to address those concerns.

“Internal communication is the university’s single most critical priority, because we can’t successfully tell the UT story externally if it isn’t understood internally,” Dye said. “The faculty and staff who make up our 16,000 employees statewide are our most credible spokespersons, and the internal communication plan aims to give them the information employees told us they want.”

Dye has responsibility for both communications initiatives and state and federal government relations for the UT system. One task of his staff is to ensure UT employees statewide receive relevant information in a timely manner. The Brown Bag discussion will bring employees up to date on how the university intends to share information with staff and faculty in the future.

As a UT graduate and staff member, Dye understands the communication concerns within a university community. He worked in UT’s Development Office in 1965-66 and he is a 1963 journalism graduate. Dye is a past member of the Athletics Board, the Development Council, the National Alumni Board of Governors, the Public Affairs Committee and the College of Communications Board of Visitors.

The discussion on communications is the first Brown Bag Luncheon of 2007 for the Exempt Staff Council, which represents nearly 1,200 administrative and professional staff in the Knoxville area. The ESC is sponsored by Sylvia Davis, UT’s vice president for administration and finance.

Amy Blakely, (865) 974-5034,