Many organizations—including the State of Tennessee government, other state governments and higher-education institutions—have an employee suggestion program to tap their employee’s intelligence, perspective, and resourcefulness with the goals of improving customer service; reducing waste; improving processes by enhancing efficiency, thus generating “soft” cost savings; and possibly resulting in ideas that save hard costs.

By implementing its own employee suggestion program, the University seeks to improve its operations and its efficiency and generate some ideas that will result in calculable, “hard” cost savings. In addition to promoting internal communication, enhancing employee involvement, and providing employees with a sense of empowerment, the challenge will bolster the University’s core Be One UT values.


Entry Requirements


  • The employee submitting the suggestion cannot have the authority or responsibility to make the suggested change.
  • The employee’s suggestion must relate to a policy, process, procedure, or other item wholly within the University’s control. For example, the suggestion cannot require third-party action, such as legislative changes.
  • Eligible participants include: all current regular employees, part-time and full-time. Members who serve on either or both the selection committee and the final review panel are ineligible to receive bonuses but may still submit suggestions.
To learn more about the evaluation process and ineligible suggestions, please click here.


Potential Awards/Benefits


  • All suggestions that the selection committee and the final review panel deem as meritorious will result in a $1,000 one-time bonus to the employee who submitted the suggestion. For clarity, meritorious suggestions could be either process-improvement suggestions, suggestions that relate to “soft” cost savings, or suggestions that result in “hard” cost savings.
  • If a suggestion will likely result in calculable hard costs, the employee who submitted the suggestion will be eligible to receive a payment based on the chart below. UT will calculate the cost savings over a 12-month period. The University will authenticate the savings before paying the bonus. The authenticated savings might be more or less than the employee’s original estimate.


Amount of Savings Bonus (total amount)
$1 – $99,999.99 $3,000
$100,000 – $499,999.99 $5,000
$500,000 and above $10,000



Ideas will be accepted from March 1 – May 1.


Submission Form

Have you ever had an idea that you thought could make your work or the work of others more efficient and effective? Maybe you have imagined ways the UT System could potentially save money while still providing excellent service. If so, now is a great time to see your ideas put into action, plus be rewarded for your effort!

Click Here to Submit Your Ideas




  • The University will withhold appropriate taxes from all monetary awards. Employees are responsible for determining whether the payment will result in additional tax consequences.
  • If an employee submits a suggestion that is substantively similar to another employee’s submitted suggestion, and the selection committee recommends that the ideas’ submitters receive an award, the selection committee may recommend that the employees who submitted the substantively similar idea divide the award equally or may recommend another distribution.
  • If a group of employees submits a suggestion and the selection committee recommends that the group’s idea receives an award, the selection committee may recommend that the group split the award equally or may recommend another distribution.
  • The University has sole discretion to determine which suggestions are eligible to receive an award. If two or more employees submit the same or similar suggestion, whether individually or as a group, the University has discretion to determine the distribution of any bonus.
  • By submitting a suggestion, the employee hereby agrees that the University will own all rights to the idea, including intellectual property rights. If needed, the employee hereby agrees that they will take all steps necessary to assign any intellectual property rights to the University.
  • The University will not accept anonymous suggestions.
  • Participants understand that their suggestions and any resulting payments are a public record.
  • If the University selects an employee to receive a bonus, the employee must be an active employee at the time of payroll distribution.