Table of Contents

We Are One

Annual Report of the President of the University of Tennessee

we are connectors.

JC Dupree stands in front of agricultural buildings waring a Volunterrs baseball cap and work wear
Lauderdale County Extension Director and Agricultural Agent JC Dupree Jr.

Growing Ideas

The University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) promotes the commercialization of UT intellectual property and encourages an entrepreneurial culture across the UT system. UTRF guides promising inventions from the laboratory to the marketplace by partnering with entrepreneurs, industry and investors. Through these partnerships, UT’s ideas are developed into new products and services that benefit Tennesseans, while also generating income for the inventors and UT.

In the past year, UTRF:
  • Earned in licensing revenue: $3.32 million
  • Paid to UT inventors: $1.2 million
  • Returned to colleges and departments: $178,000
  • Assisted inventors: 43 licenses and options
  • Helped start: 4 companies
  • UTRF-based companies raised: $54 million in outside venture-type capital in Tennessee
Three young men in green polo shirts gathered around a laptop in a classroom
UT Martin student Daniel Wiggins, center, with UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources graduate students Austin Scott (left) and Shawn Butler.

“Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected.”

William Plomer
A dirt path leads to a lodge with a shining metal roof
Lone Oaks Farm in Middleton, Tennessee.
4-H participants learn about teamwork during a rope pull
Thanks to $16 million in state funding, UT’s new 4-H Youth and Education Center in West Tennessee is helping children learn life skills and make self-discoveries that will change their futures.

A Place of Purpose

Across 1,200 West Tennessee acres in Hardeman County, the woods, pastures, lakes and farmland have been imbued with a sense of purpose since previous owners stitched the parcels together into one farm. Now, the shouts and laughter of children echo across the acres as the land fulfills a new mission.

Aerial view of Lone Oaks Farm's woods, lake and pastures

But it also does more. In addition to hosting 4-H youth programming, Lone Oaks is open to companies and organizations to rent for retreats and conferences, helping adults reimagine what could be possible and to find new purpose in their work and lives.

“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.”

Herman Melville
Factory workers at industrial machines making zippers
Dunlap Industries marked 50 years of manufacturing zippers in Dunlap, Tennessee in 2016.

The UT Institute for Public Service provides expert training and consulting to local and state government, business and law enforcement, and has done so since 1971, when former UT President Edward Boling had a vision to extend that help.

Through its five agencies, IPS:
Helped Tennessee businesses generate more than
$1 billion
in customer-reported economic impact to benefit the Tennessee economy
Answered more than
requests for requests for assistance
employees, citizens and officials
The institute’s Law Enforcement Innovation Center trained more  than 400 law enforcement officials from around the country
Law enforcement members clean up after a car explosion exercise during LEIC-NFA training at the UT Arboretum in Oak Ridge.