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Historic Ayres Hall on the flagship campus in the spring. 

The Campus Advisory Board of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, voted today to recommend parking changes and, for the first time in four years, tuition increases as part of the university’s $2.2 billion budget. The budget will go before the UT Board of Trustees in June for final approval. The board also heard updates on research, online learning and UT Libraries.

“I am incredibly proud of the great work happening across our campus and the world-class education we continue to provide our students,” said Chancellor Donde Plowman. “The decisions we make today will help ensure we can continue our momentum and keep providing the resources and support that make the Volunteer experience special.”

Parking changes

The board voted to recommend a new tiered parking and transportation system on campus that will lead to less traffic congestion and help drivers find open parking spaces more quickly and easily. UT relied on national best practices and a parking consultant to help create the new system.

Starting in the fall 2024 semester, students will be able to purchase parking permits in zone areas based on availability and a tiered system that prioritizes academic credit hours earned. Graduate students and seniors will be able to choose parking options first, followed by juniors, then sophomores and then first-year students.

Commuter students will have three parking permit options:

  • Core commuter permits for parking in the central areas of campus will cost $390 for the academic year.
  • Intermediate commuter permits will cost $250 for the academic year.
  • Remote commuter permits for parking in lots adjacent to campus or off campus that are serviced by T buses will cost $198 for the academic year.

Residential or noncommuter students will also park in zone areas, with two parking permit options:

  • Core noncommuter permits, including sorority and fraternity parking, will cost $450 for the academic year.
  • Remote noncommuter permits for parking in lots adjacent to campus or off campus that are serviced by T buses will cost $310 for the academic year.

First-year students are encouraged not to bring a car to campus, and everyone is encouraged to take advantage of biking and walking pathways and the T transit system to get around campus.

The transition to zoned parking will create additional spots for employees. Current employees with existing permits will not be relocated, and there will be no rate increase for faculty and staff for the 2024-25 academic year. Price increases are expected every two years starting in fall 2025.

Commuter students, faculty and staff will have the option to purchase a permit for a park-and-ride lot at a discounted rate of $99 a year. T buses will directly serve the lot with an estimated frequency of 10 minutes.

The university will also add 1,000 mobile pay hourly spaces across campus for visitors and others who need short-term parking.

Tuition changes

The board voted to recommend a 2% tuition increase for in-state students and a 4% tuition increase for out-of-state students effective fall 2024.

“A combination of enrollment growth and state support has allowed us to keep tuition flat for five of the last six years. The costs for delivering high-quality academic programs, however, have continued to rise in that time,” said Interim Senior Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Allen Bolton. “We have worked hard to keep tuition increases as small as possible while still ensuring we can give students the Volunteer experience they expect.”

The board also approved increases to three of the university’s six mandatory fees:

  • The technology fee will increase by $60 to support infrastructure, resources and services to enhance the educational experience for students. The fee has not increased in almost a decade.
  • The transportation fee will increase by $40 to cover transportation enhancements including new buses, the new park-and-ride route for students and employees, and improved timing and efficiencies of current routes. The university is adding eight buses for the 2024-25 academic year, including five all-electric buses, bringing the total number of buses in its fleet to 31.
  • The online fee increase of $44 is necessary to enhance the online learning experience.

The tuition and fee changes will go to the UT Board of Trustees for final approval in June.

Research and innovation

In her presentation, Plowman shared with the board how researchers in the Herbert College of Agriculture are leading a collaborative partnership to prepare the best possible pitches — or fields — for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. Plowman also highlighted the university’s groundbreaking partnership to expand access to higher education through online learning, the future of Tennessee’s innovation economy and the success of the university’s athletics programs.

A library for all

The board heard from Dean of Libraries Steven Smith, who highlighted how UT Libraries is a library for all — serving the needs of students, faculty, staff and the larger community as a strategic partner for research and academic work.

UT Libraries is ranked 22nd among U.S. public research libraries, according to the Association of Research Libraries. It has six campus locations and 24/7 online access around the world. Smith shared additional details about UT Libraries’ collections:

  • They include more than four million electronic and print volumes.
  • About 46,000 items — physical library materials, equipment and course reserve items — are checked out annually.
  • A total of 5.8 million online items are accessed annually, which includes downloads of digital articles, ebook uses and downloads from the Tennessee Research and Creative Exchange, a publicly accessible archive featuring research and creative work by UT scholars and researchers.

Hodges Library, the university’s main library, has 2 million visitors each year. Its physical space supports campus resources including the Veterans Success Center, the OIT HelpDesk and Computer Support, and One Stop Student Services.

UT Libraries provides 24-hour support and offers student-focused technologies and spaces for students in all disciplines, with resources for media production, 3D printing, virtual reality, gaming and other areas.

About the board

The Campus Advisory Board was created in 2018 when the Tennessee General Assembly passed the UT FOCUS Act, restructuring the UT 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.

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 chancellor thanked two outgoing board members for their service. This was the last meeting for Faculty Senate-appointed member Joan MacLeod Heminway, Rick Rose Distinguished Professor of Law, and student appointee Jessica Barfield, a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Information Sciences.


Lisa Leko (865-974-8698,