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UT Knoxville’s Advisory Board met Wednesday to review the campus’s strategic plan and budget process, discuss current issues, and approve the appointment of a student member for the fiscal year that starts in July.

During the meeting, the advisory board:

  • Agreed that the student seat will be filled in alternate years by a graduate or professional student and an undergraduate student. The board then approved Interim Chancellor Wayne T. Davis’s recommendation of Johnelle Simpson, a law student, as the FY 2020 student member.
  • Heard from Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor David Manderscheid, who provided an overview of updated metrics for the campus’s strategic plan, Vol Vision. The board also discussed the process for future updates to the plan itself.
  • Heard from Senior Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Chris Cimino, who explained various components of the campus budget process, including tuition and fees. The board will review the campus’s proposed FY 2020 budget at its next board meeting.
  • Received a brief overview of changes being made to the process of funding student programming stemming from the state comptroller’s recent report.
  • Heard from Interim Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Engagement Tyvi Small, who explained how he’s been laying the groundwork for diversity efforts that will enhance campus priorities outlined in the strategic plan and help address issues when they arise.

Public members of the advisory board include Board Chair John Tickle of Bristol, Alexia Poe and Tom Smith of Nashville, and Syreeta Vaughn and Tim Williams of Knoxville. The Faculty Senate appointee is Louis J. Gross, Chancellor’s Professor and Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. The student appointee is Ovi Kabir, Student Government Association president.

Meeting materials and the archived webcast are available on the chancellor’s website.

The advisory board’s next meeting is set for 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on May 15. Subsequent meetings will be held onOctober 11, 2019, and March 4 and May 13, 2020.

The UT FOCUS Act, passed by the Tennessee General Assembly in April 2018, created an advisory board for each UT campus. The boards are charged with submitting recommendations to the UT System Board of Trustees on campus-level strategic plans, operating budgets, and tuition.


Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,