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University Update: Salary Increases, Tuition, Diversity, Outsourcing and Other Important Matters Discussed Today

With the conclusion of what was a busy annual meeting of our Board of Trustees today, I have updates for you on several important discussions and decisions.

I’m pleased to announce salary increases have been approved system-wide for the coming fiscal year, which begins July 1. Fair and competitive pay for faculty and staff continues to be a priority at UT. Thanks to increased state appropriations and the commitment to closing salary gaps by each campus and institute, we are able to continue momentum. You will hear more from your campus and institute leaders in coming weeks about those plans. For a summary of salary increase pools, go to the online board documents and advance to page 38.

Tuition increases will be at the lowest levels in more than three decades. This is also thanks to increased state appropriations and to our efforts to achieve greater efficiencies toward long-term funding sustainability. In-state tuition will increase no more than 2.2 percent for most undergraduates—the lowest since 1984—and the majority of fees will not increase.

I have appointed a special advisor for diversity and inclusion, dedicated to advancing a culture that is welcoming and empowering to all. Noma Anderson, dean of the UT Health Science Center College of Health Professions and chair of our statewide Diversity Advisory Council, has accepted my invitation to serve in this new leadership position focused on supporting diversity and inclusion efforts system-wide. Her appointment is effective July 1. Noma’s passion for these issues and her experience with system-wide collaboration uniquely position her for this role. I look forward to sharing more with you about our work in the months ahead.

The prospect of outsourcing our facilities management and other services continues to be an ongoing conversation. I updated our board today and want to assure you that we are still listening to feedback as the process continues. In the spring, your campus or institute leadership will make decisions regarding their options. Once they choose whether to opt in, out or a combination thereof, they will bring their recommendations to me and the board. We will keep you informed every step of the way. Our goal is to protect the level of service our staff provides as well as their compensation, benefits and job security. You can learn more about the process and review a timeline here.

As you’re likely aware, changes in senior leadership and efforts to fill existing positions have been announced this week. I encourage you to become involved as these searches get underway.

You can read a full summary of the board meeting and view an archived webcast from today’s meeting here.

Thank you for all you do for the University. I’m proud to be part of this great institution and to work alongside you to achieve our goals.

All the best,
The University of Tennessee | Office of the President
831 Andy Holt Tower | Knoxville, TN 37996
Phone: 865.974.2241 | Fax: 865.974.3753
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The mission of the University of Tennessee System Administration is to advance the educational, discovery, creative and outreach programs of the campuses and institutes through leadership that removes obstacles, understands needs, provides advocacy, secures resources, promotes accountability, fosters diversity, promotes innovation, coordinates campus efforts and delivers efficient and effective central services.