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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Campus Advisory Board gathered to hear updates on enrollment, student success, research and the new campus master plan at the board’s first meeting of the spring semester on Friday, Jan. 27.

Chancellor Donde Plowman shared the university’s recent successes, including a record-setting increase in admissions applications, new personalized student support initiatives, increases in research grant proposals and awards, and the visibility the university has received through the success of its athletic programs.

“I’ve always believed that success leads to more successes. When you have a moment like we did this fall with visibility of our football program and athletic successes, it creates an opportunity to showcase all the other things that set us apart,” Plowman said after the meeting. “From our top-rated academic programs to our unique student success initiatives, there has never been a better time to be a Volunteer.”

Architect Jessica Leonard from design firm Ayers Saint Gross presented the university’s updated master plan, which includes new academic and student-focused hubs, expanded student housing, increased pedestrian paths that improve campus connectivity, and facilities for better collaboration.

“What we are really talking about is answering the questions of who are we, who do we want to be, where are we going, and how does place affect how we think about ourselves, our identity, our vision and our goals,” said Plowman. “I like to call it the future physical presence of this campus.”

The board also heard updates from Dean Joe Mazer of the College of Communication and Information, who presented on the college’s momentum with growing enrollment, new degree programs and a strategic plan connected to the university’s larger strategic vision.

“We are uniquely positioned as a flagship land-grant R1 university, and everything we do in this college in our strategic plan is about how we can be nationally distinctive in terms of that role and how we can be relevant to the people of the state,” said Mazer.

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

About the board

The board was created in 2018 when the Tennessee General Assembly passed the UT FOCUS Act, restructuring the Board of Trustees and creating an advisory board for each campus in the UT System. The board is charged with making campus-level recommendations to the UT Board of Trustees on strategic planning, operating budgets, and tuition, as well as advising the chancellor.

The public members of the Advisory Board are Allen Carter of Niota, Alexia Poe of Nashville, Tomi Robb of Knoxville, Tom Smith of Nashville, and John Tickle of Bristol.

The Faculty Senate appointed Joan MacLeod Heminway, Rick Rose Distinguished Professor of Law, to serve as the faculty appointee to the board. The student appointee is Jordan Brown, a fourth-year undergraduate student.


Cindi King (865-974-0937,