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Boyd Seeks to Finish Greatest Decade at UT Board of Trustees Meeting

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UT System President Randy Boyd shakes hands with UT Board of Trustees Chair John Compton.

PULASKI – UT System President Randy Boyd announced his interest to continue serving as the University’s president during the UT Board of Trustee meeting held today at UT Southern.

Boyd, who joined the UT System as interim president in November 2018 and was named its 26th president in 2020, initially committed to serve five years. At today’s meeting, he expressed to the board that he wants to complete what he calls “the greatest decade in UT history.” The UT Board of Trustees conveyed their desire to have Boyd continue in the role, and a resolution was passed authorizing the board chair to explore extending Boyd’s term to June 2030.

“President Boyd is a visionary, energetic, and servant leader,” UT Board of Trustees Chairman John Compton said. “His enthusiasm and optimism are contagious, and his positivity and a sense of purpose has spread throughout the organization.”

Among Boyd’s significant accomplishments in the first half of the greatest decade:

  • Increases in enrollment – up 13.8%;
  • Increases in retention – up 4.2%;
  • Increases in 4-year graduation rate – up 3.1%;
  • Increases in 6-year graduation rate – up 3.8%;
  • Creation of the Be One UT values, intended to shape culture across the UT System, build purpose, improve team cohesion and create a sense of shared commitment in the workplace;
  • Establishment of UT Promise, an undergraduate scholarship program guaranteeing free tuition and mandatory fees for qualifying Tennessee residents attending UT’s campuses in Knoxville, Chattanooga, Pulaski, Martin and Memphis;
  • Acquisition of UT Southern, the fourth undergraduate campus in the UT System. It represents the only public four-year institution of higher education between Chattanooga and Memphis; and
  • Creation of the Institute for American Civics, which provides a comprehensive civic education for university undergraduates and the state that includes America’s founding principles, the economic and political institutions that maintain American democracy, and the basics of civic engagement.

During the meeting, the board also approved UT Southern’s inaugural, five-year strategic plan. The plan is focused on three pillars: enhance academic excellence and promote innovation; create transformational student experiences and foster student success; and establish greater connectedness and facilitate campus and community engagement.

“This plan captures the spirit of our institution, from the pursuit of excellence to the enrichment of the student experience, and the deepening of our pledge to foster meaningful relationships,” UT Southern Interim Chancellor Linda Martin said. “We remain dedicated to serving Southern Middle Tennessee and to educating students to meet the current and future workforce needs of the region and the state.”

UT Southern was established in 2021 through the acquisition of Martin Methodist College, which was founded in 1870. Located in Pulaski, the campus is conveniently located about 70 miles south of Nashville and 40 miles north of Huntsville, Alabama.

During the board meeting, Boyd outlined UT’s objectives for 2024, which include:

  • Increasing total enrollment to 61,000;
  • Launching a national common application at all UT undergraduate campuses, making it easier for students in Tennessee and beyond to apply to any UT campus;
  • Establishing systemwide mental health and wellness priorities – in February, the UT System hired its first chief wellness officer in an effort to enhance mental health and wellness services across the system;
  • Increasing research expenditures to $600 million by 2025;
  • Creating a $30 million Angel Network fund that facilitates connections between startup companies and prospective investors to support an entrepreneurial culture across the state; and
  • Developing the National Academy for Leadership in Law Enforcement, an elite training program for law enforcement executives.

A complete list of 2024 objectives can be found here.

In other business, the board approved:

  • Revising the fiscal year 2023-2024 operating budget;
  • Amending the fiscal year 2024-2025 state budget request;
  • Phase 2 of the public-private partnership for the construction of a multi-phase, on-campus student housing development for UT Knoxville;
  • Pursuing the establishment of a nonprofit foundation for the intercollegiate athletics program at UT Knoxville; and
  • Naming of the renovated ROTC building at UT Martin as the “Dennis D. Cavin ROTC Center.”

About the University of Tennessee System
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 58,000 students statewide; produces about 13,000 new graduates every year; and represents more than 445,000 alumni around the world.

View photos from the 2024 Winter Meeting of the Board of Trustees


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

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Category: Announcements