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Increases in Enrollment, Graduation Rates Headline UT Board of Trustees Executive Committee Meeting


The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees Executive Committee met Friday morning and received a year-end review of significant achievements from UT System President Randy Boyd.

“True to our values, we were bold and impactful, nimble and innovative, and optimistic and visionary,” Boyd said.  “While all the achievements we have experienced would be considered exceptional at any point in time, considering the volume of adversity we have withstood during the past year these achievements are nothing short of amazing.”

Key accomplishments from 2021 include:

  • Set new record in enrollment with 53,983 students—led by a strong increase in enrollment at UT Knoxville, the UT System exceeded its goal of a 2% increase, achieving 2.7%.
  • Increased both four-year and six-year graduation rates systemwide in 2021, by 0.8% and 2% respectively.
  • Extended the household income threshold for UT Promise scholarship recipients from $50,000 to $60,000.
  • Acquired Martin Methodist College (now UT Southern).  Enrollment in the fall was up 9% (leading the state) and applications for 2022 are up more than 200%.
  • Supported by a combined $28 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, Gov. Bill Lee and the Tennessee General Assembly, the UT-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute progressed on its joint graduate programs. The 2021 cohort of UT Knoxville students has enrolled in the three UT-ORII PhD programs, and the first two rounds of seed funding have been awarded to teams led by UT Knoxville and UT Chattanooga faculty.  Graduate student enrollment is at 158.

A full copy of the report can be accessed here.

The Executive Committee discussed the online higher education market and endorsed pursuing a strategy to move forward, pending future Board of Trustees approval.  The committee also received an update on compliance with graduate medical education accreditation requirements from the UT Health Science Center.  Additionally, the Executive Committee approved the naming of the Large Animal Hospital in the College of Veterinary Medicine at UT Knoxville as the “Charles and Julie Wharton Large Animal Hospital.”

The University of Tennessee is a statewide system of higher education with campuses in Knoxville, Chattanooga, Martin, Memphis and Pulaski; the UT Space Institute in Tullahoma; 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 51,000 students statewide; produces about 12,000 new graduates every year; and represents more than 422,000 alumni around the world.

Melissa Tindell, 865-974-0741, mtindell@tennessee.edu, 505 Summer Place, UT Tower, Knoxville, TN 37902

Jennifer Sicking, 865-974-5179, jsicking@tennessee.edu, 505 Summer Place, UT Tower, Knoxville, TN 37902