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Board of Trustees Celebrates Record Enrollment, Graduation Rate Gains at Fall Meeting

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UT System President Randy Boyd at the fall 2022 UT Board of Trustees meeting.

MARTIN – While student enrollment across the nation is experiencing historic declines, the University of Tennessee System is enjoying significant gains on its campuses, according to a report given at the fall meeting of the UT Board of Trustees.

“Our board has been consistently focused on enrollment, retention and graduation,” said UT Board of Trustees Chairman John Compton. “Our numbers continue to trend upward and exceed national trends, serving as a terrific testament to the hard work of our campus leaders, faculty and staff.

“Important to academic success is helping ensure a safe, healthy learning environment on our campuses and institutes, where feedback is valued and respected. We were equally pleased to see continued improvement in campus safety and the voice of faculty and students in their overall satisfaction.”

Among the student success highlights shared:

  • Total enrollment across the UT System grew almost 4% to 56,032 students, with undergraduate enrollment increasing nearly 5%.
  • The UT System saw increases of 20.8% in new freshman, 1.5% in transfers and a 10.4% in new graduate students.
  • In the past five years, the UT System has experienced growth of 2.7% in the six-year graduation rate.
  • An increase of 9.6% in bachelor’s degrees awarded in the past five years
  • Five-year growth rate of 10.3% (10.6% undergraduate, 9.15% graduate)

“At a time when almost half of high school seniors are deciding not to continue their education after graduation, UT is bucking the trend in enrollment,” UT System President Randy Boyd said. “Not only are we attracting more students, we are also seeing increases in our six-year graduation rate, meaning more students are achieving their dreams of attaining college degrees.”

The board also approved UT Martin’s refreshed strategic plan, which includes initiatives such as adding new and diversified student programs, improving the campus’ strategic enrollment plan and helping ensure UT Martin is open, accessible and welcoming to all.

In other business, trustees approved:

  • Peer and aspirational institutions for the UT System and its campuses
  • Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree for William “Bill” Haslam through the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences at UT Knoxville
  • Campus master plan amendment from UT Knoxville to accommodate enrollment growth at the Haslam College of Business
  • Transfer and acquisition of approximately 900 acres in Milan for agricultural and natural resources research
  • New School of Natural Resources at the UT Institute of Agriculture, with an implementation date of January 2023 (pending approval by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission)
  • FY 2023-24 operating budget appropriations request for specialized units

Archived video of the committee and full board meetings can be accessed at

The University of Tennessee is a statewide system of higher education with campuses in Knoxville, Chattanooga, Martin, Memphis and Pulaski; the UT Institute of Agriculture with a presence in every Tennessee county; and the statewide Institute for Public Service. The UT System manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory through its UT-Battelle partnership; enrolls about 54,000 students statewide; produces about 13,000 new graduates every year; and represents more than 433,000 alumni around the world.


Melissa Tindell
505 Summer Place, UT Tower, Knoxville, TN 37902  

Natalie Keener
505 Summer Place, UT Tower, Knoxville, TN 37902  

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Category: Headlines