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IEP Designation LogoThe University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has earned national recognition as an Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP) University. This designation acknowledges the exceptional ways UT cultivates community engagement, economic growth and workforce development across the state of Tennessee and beyond.

UT System President Randy Boyd:

“We have long known that UT Knoxville was a hub of workplace development, innovation, and public service. This designation shows that other land-grant universities recognize the quality of work by our professors, staff, and students.”

UT Knoxville Chancellor Donde Plowman:

“We have achieved this recognition because Volunteers across every college and department understand the significance of economic and community engagement. It is an honor and an opportunity for us as we pursue the most impactful ways to serve the people of Tennessee.”

Tim Cross, senior vice president and senior vice chancellor of the UT Institute of Agriculture:

“As a land-grant university, our mission goes beyond educating students and conducting research and Extension programs. We recognize that we are also here to improve lives across the state by advancing the economies in our local communities. That’s why this designation is so exciting—it means we’ll grow as a university and increase our impact on economic and community development, improving our state and country.”

Vice Chancellor for Research Deborah Crawford:

“We know that innovation industries contribute in supersized ways to regional prosperity. “We already have a number of excellent programs designed to cultivate a culture of innovation.”

Assistant Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Engagement Javiette Samuel:

“As the flagship land-grant university, community engagement, innovation, and economic engagement are in our DNA. UT is an economic driver in the state as it relates to workforce development, community partners, and external stakeholders. This designation ultimately helps us tell and measure our economic effects and public value. This is critical as we think about what it means to be a 21st-century land-grant university that seeks to solve complex issues through multidisciplinary approaches.”

Bill Fox, director of UT’s Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research:

“There’s the direct effect of the university hiring people. Then there’s the indirect effect as the university buys supplies from companies that employ people. Then there’s a multiplier effect as people come from out of town to ball games and buy things, etc. The impact spreads through the community.”

Jim Campbell, president of the East Tennessee Economic Council:

“There are new challenges every day, as the pandemic has shown us. Industries are transforming. What UT does to prepare the workforce is a story of how it helps keep our state at the forefront of different industries.”