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We Are One

The University of Tennessee
President’s Report

This is the report of the President of the University of Tennessee on its system-wide performance, achievements and accomplishments in the fiscal year 2015-2016.

Download the PDF Report

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Educate
  3. Discover
  4. Connect
  5. State of UT
  6. Financials
  7. Fall Enrollment
Download the PDF Report


Joe DiPietro dressed in a suit standing against a wall with his arms folded

I am honored to lead the statewide University of Tennessee system, which proudly fulfills its mission to serve all Tennesseans every day. We know our success – the University’s and Tennessee’s – comes from us standing together to educate the next generation of UT graduates.

We’re guided by a strategic plan built around 20 mission-driven metrics and we meet or exceed 100 percent of goal in 13 cases, while performance in the other seven metrics is in the 80-90 percent range. We are committed to maximizing performance in all of these areas.

We’re also midway through two years of self-imposed budget restrictions and we’ve already made dramatic progress in narrowing a future funding gap. At the same time, we’re holding down tuition increases, which in fiscal 2016-2017 are the lowest in more than 30 years.

I’m determined not to leave the challenge of securing sustainable, long-term funding for the next UT president. Our success in this effort will establish a stronger University for generations to come.

Increasingly, current generations of our students are not only more well-qualified, they are more diverse. When they leave with diploma in hand, they are part of UT’s one family.

By focusing on diversity and inclusion as core values and establishing high standards for student conduct and campus civility, our graduates will make Tennessee and the world better.

We are one. We are UT.

All the best,
Joseph A. DiPietro

The Tennessee State Capitol is lit in orange for UT Day on the Hill in 2015.

Narrowing the Gap

One year into a two-year period of self-imposed budget priorities and boundaries, the University has made dramatic progress in closing a projected funding gap while keeping tuition increases to their lowest levels in more than three decades.

Upon discovering a 10-year projected funding gap of $377 million in 2014, UT President Joe DiPietro took action. He created the Budget Advisory Group – made up of leaders inside and outside the University – to develop a plan to maximize effectiveness, efficiency and be more entrepreneurial. And to do it all without hampering the University’s striving toward educational excellence.

In 2015, the Board of Trustees approved budget restrictions toward re-allocating $68 million at the end of two fiscal years. By June 2016, $61 million already had been realized by cutting costs, maximizing nontraditional resources and efforts that secured new revenue.

Late in 2016, the Budget Advisory Group reconvened to assess progress so far, and to identify strategy adjustments toward sustaining the University’s business model for at least two more years.

two young women in chemistry lab with safety goggles and lab notebook
UT Martin Ripley Center students work together in a chemistry lab.

Diversity Leadership

In emphasizing the importance of diversity and inclusion, UT President Joe DiPietro named Noma Anderson to the role of special adviser to the president on diversity and inclusion. Anderson, former dean of the UT Health Science Center College of Health Professions since 2010, also has served as chair of the president’s Diversity Advisory Council since 2012.

“We believe very, very much in the value of diversity and inclusion at the University of Tennessee,” DiPietro said. “A diverse and inclusive culture equates to success. When students feel connected, included and supported by their communities, that results in higher graduation and retention rates, as well as greater competency in the workplace after graduation.”

Anderson will be:
  • Aligning initiatives with the mission and goals of the University
  • Enhancing the University’s reputation as an employer of choice
  • Evaluating the University’s climate for students, faculty and staff
  • Developing programs and policies for the System
  • Assessing productivity and success
Noma Anderson, Special Adviser to the President on Diversity and Inclusion; and Professor, UT Health Science Center Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology.