UT faces plenty of challenges, but one that easily overshadows the rest is finding sustainable, long-term funding.

Midway through 2014, I outlined our broken business model and projected a funding gap of $377 million over 10 years. Averting that gap means changing how we do business, and we must maximize effectiveness, efficiency, excellence and be more entrepreneurial. To keep tuition increases low, we must either cut costs or increase revenue outside annual tuition increases. Solving the problem should secure affordability of a public higher education at our campuses.

Overall, I am very pleased by how the University has responded to unprecedented financial challenges over the last eight years, and I know we can persevere through this challenge. I am proud that even though state support has decreased, we have awarded 22 percent more degrees and increased our four-year graduation rate by 7 percent. The quality of our students has increased, and we have continued to make strides in our research and outreach programs.

Please visit tennessee.edu/outcomes to see current available data presented to Governor Bill Haslam at his budget hearings. If you would like to know more about how you can advocate on behalf of the University, please visit our advocacy website.

Tennessee’s same funding challenges are happening throughout the country. Nationally, higher education’s business model is at a crossroads. We are tackling this problem head-on. The University will face hard decisions, but we will make them because it is the right thing to do for UT, our students and the future of Tennessee.

Joe DiPietro signature
Joe DiPietro

Current Membership

Board of Trustees

  • (Former Trustee and Board Vice Chair) Brian Ferguson
  • Vice Chair Raja Jubran
  • George Cates
  • Vicky Gregg
  • Rhedona Rose



  • UT Institute of Agriculture Professor and Faculty Trustee David Golden



  • Dean Tim Hottel, UT Health Science Center College of Dentistry



  • (former) UT Chattanooga SGA President Robert Fisher



  • Petra McPhearson, UT Martin interim vice chancellor, finance and administration

Campus CEOs

  • UT Knoxville Chancellor Jimmy Cheek
  • UT Chattanooga Chancellor Steve Angle


UT System Administration

  • David Millhorn, executive vice president and vice president for research
  • Catherine Mizell, general counsel and secretary, Board of Trustees
  • Tonja Johnson, executive vice president and chief operating officer
  • Anthony Haynes, vice president for government relations and advocacy
  • Ron Maples, interim chief financial officer
  • Katie High, vice president for academic affairs and student success
  • Dennis Hengstler, assistant vice president for institutional research


Secretary, Budget Advisory Group

  • Keith Carver, incoming chancellor of UT Martin