Updates and Information on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
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I realize that most of you feel like you’re being hit with nothing but bad news these days. Quite honestly, these are not good times for our university, but we are not the only ones feeling pain.

The tough economic times we are facing are a national and international problem; they are touching people in all walks of life, whether you work for the university, the government or the private sector.

As you know, we’ve been asked to identify $6 million in cuts from the Knoxville campus as part of the $17 million to be cut from the University of Tennessee system. In anticipation of this, vice chancellors, deans, directors and department heads have been working over the past several months to identify potential cuts. Their suggestions will account for $4.2 million. At the campus level, we have identified resources that will allow us to accommodate the additional $1.8 million needed.

Unfortunately, faculty, staff and students will feel the impact in several ways. Some of the cuts that will be made include:

  • Reduction or elimination of travel and field opportunities for students
  • Reduction in the ability to modernize teaching and classrooms through the use of technology
  • Cancellation of courses, particularly at the upper division level, which will affect students’ access to courses and their ability to graduate
  • Reduction in faculty research support and additional reductions in the number of faculty lines, which will require that we hire lecturers to replace tenure-track faculty positions
  • Reduction in funding for admissions, which will impact processing of student applications
  • Reduction of maintenance funding, which will further delay overdue maintenance on many buildings

It is almost certain that given the current economic climate, we will be facing additional cuts to next year’s budget. It is more important than ever that we all work together, think strategically and do all that we can to preserve the mission of the University of Tennessee.

I encourage each of you to look for ways to improve efficiency in your individual units and pass those ideas along. Please let me and others know if there’s anything you think we can do better.

I want to hear your suggestions. You can share them at chancellor@utk.edu.

Thank you for all your hard work and your dedication to the University of Tennessee.