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VOL VisionIn the last few months, you have heard a lot about both the VOL Vision strategic plan and the Top 25 initiative. You may be wondering how they are different, how they are alike, and, most importantly, how they will work together to make UT Knoxville the best university it can be.

We now have a document — VOL Vision 2015 — that helps answer those questions.

This document was borne of feedback from faculty, staff and students who attended discussions regarding our earlier draft of the VOL Vision strategic plan last spring. It was also shaped by the findings and recommendations of the Top 25 task force. With the help of these groups, we were able to identify themes and opportunities to improve the VOL Vision draft and integrate it into the Top 25 planning process and goals.

The result is “VOL Vision 2015,” a more strategically focused document that will help us ensure campus activities are planned so they support the five priorities in our Top 25 quest: retain and graduate a diverse body of well-educated undergraduate students; produce increasing numbers of diverse graduate students; strengthen capacity and productivity in research, scholarship and creative activity; attract and retain stellar faculty and staff; and continually improve our resource base.

You can read VOL Vision 2015 at You also can submit feedback via this site or at one of the following two forums:

• Monday, Sept. 13 — 1:15-2:45 p.m. (Shiloh Room, University Center)

• Thursday, Sept. 16 — 10-11:30 a.m. (Crest Room, University Center)

These sessions will be led by Ed Cortez, professor and head of the School of Information Sciences; Joan Heminway, law professor and Faculty Senate president; and Dixie Thompson, professor and head of the Department of Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport Studies.

All feedback must be received by Sept. 30 to be considered for the final version.