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Simek Service Awards
Jay Franklin, Interim President Jan Simek and Mary Ann Simek at the 2009 UT Service Awards Luncheon

More than 80 employees, including interim president Jan Simek, were recognized this week for their years of dedicated service to the University of Tennessee. Staff and faculty from UT Knoxville, the UT system and the Institute of Agriculture received their awards at a special luncheon Tuesday afternoon.

Interim President Jan Simek, Chancellor Jimmy Cheek and Vice President for Agriculture Joe DiPietro were on hand to congratulate the recipients and recognize their contributions to the university.

“Folks like you make the university what it is,” Simek said. He remarked that many of the people at the university 25 years or more, including himself, have been through difficult financial times before.

“The institution goes forward because of people like you … This is the best the university has ever been. We have the best students, the best faculty and the best staff. It takes commitment from all three groups, especially by faculty and staff.”

Simek was recognized for his 25 years as a faculty member and administrator. He was surprised with his award from a former student, Jay Franklin, associate professor of anthropology at East Tennessee State University. “I have known Jan throughout his time at UT. He has had a profound effect on me,” Franklin said. He commented on Simek’s leadership roles within the university saying, “He always leaves things better than he finds them.”

To learn more about some of the employees recognized this week, visit