Skip to main content

UT is listening to the advice of the business community on how the university can better prepare students with skills to meet the state’s workforce needs.

“We changed our chemistry curriculum based on feedback from Eastman Chemical,” Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek told a group of business leaders during a summit Tuesday hosted by Governor Bill Haslam. “We’re listening to them to make sure we’re doing the right thing.”

The summit was the third of seven Haslam is hosting around the state to discuss the future of higher education and to find out how UT and other higher education institutions can do a better job of matching skills students are learning with the needs of employers.

Knoxville’s gathering, held at Scripps Networks Interactive in West Knoxville, included local business executives and college leaders.

The university takes seriously its mission of preparing students to transition successfully into the job market, Cheek said, highlighting UT’s relationship with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, student internships with companies, and the mission of the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education.

“We’re doing big things with our interdisciplinary programs,” he said.