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Some exciting changes are being made to campus employee events in direct response to feedback you provided in the most recent Employee Engagement Survey.

UT Knoxville Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek is hosting a Spring Thank You Lunch for campus employees from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 29, at Thompson-Boling Arena. UT employees who responded to the survey asked for more opportunities to see and hear directly from their campus or institute leader. Cheek hosted a Back to School Barbecue in August, which he hopes to make a new campus tradition.

UT President Joe DiPietro also will gather Knoxville-area employees for an outdoor barbecue on June 6 at the UT Gardens. Held for the first time last June, the president’s employee event brought thousands of employees together for great food and giveaways.

Fall Festival—an annual event hosted by President DiPietro, Institute of Agriculture Chancellor Larry Arrington, and Chancellor Cheek—will be held next spring (2015) for Knoxville-area employees. UT Human Resources staff members are already working to re-engineer this event, which has been held for 36 consecutive years.

All Knoxville-area employees also will be invited to a comprehensive employee benefits fair on September 24 at the University Center. The fair will provide employees an opportunity to learn more about upcoming benefit changes prior to the annual enrollment period, which begins in October.

Chancellor Arrington and the institute deans will host an employee luncheon on October 3. This picnic offers employees a preview of displays and exhibits for the next day’s Ag Day, a popular celebration for all alumni, friends, and community members. Ag Day, which is open to the university community, attracts more than a thousand participants each year.

Other new initiatives that are the direct result of employee feedback are Chancellor Cheek’s luncheons for all new faculty and staff, to be held quarterly. Cheek also began holding open office hours this semester to provide faculty and staff a chance to discuss issues of interest and concern.