Record Enrollment Set

Featured image: Some instructors, like Billy Weeks at UTC, moved classes outside on nice days.
Photo by Angela Foster

The UT Board of Trustees celebrated new enrollment records during its annual fall meeting.

Records set in the fall 2020 semester:

  • Overall enrollment across the system increased 1.9 percent to an all-time high of 52,559 students.
  • More than 41,100 students enrolled as undergraduates.
  • More than 8,800 first-year students enrolled.
  • More than 11,300 students enrolled in graduate and professional schools.

Not only are more students enrolling but UT President Randy Boyd also celebrated a record of more than 8,600 degrees conferred in 2020.

“Any time we can set a record, it’s great, but in these difficult times, it’s remarkable,” he says, while noting that college enrollment declined 16 percent across the nation.

UT Launches SMART Policy Network

Randy Boyd stands in front of the Everywhere You Look mural in
UT System President Randy Boyd

UT System President Randy Boyd announced the formation of the Substance Misuse and Addiction Resource for Tennessee (SMART) Policy Network during the fall Board of Trustees meeting. The network aims to assist Tennesseans affected by substance misuse each year and transform UT’s approach to combating the current opioid epidemic.

“Having traveled to every county several times in the past few years, I knew the opioid epidemic was a problem we needed to harness our full force and collaboration behind,” says Boyd. “I have already seen significant change from all the great work happening across the state, and I am eager to see what happens when we’re all working collaboratively.”

The group plans to provide evidence to communities and decision makers on best practices by delivering written reports, directed consultations and public forum presentations. It is a collaborative effort involving thought leaders from multiple units across the UT System as well as the ETSU Addiction Science Center, the state judicial system, private treatment providers, the Knox Metro Drug Coalition and many others.

Spark Innovation Center Wins DOE Incubator Prize

The Spark Innovation Center at the UT Research Park at Cherokee Farm was one of 20 incubators selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for a $50,000 award as part of the Energy Program for Innovation Clusters (EPIC). The EPIC prize is the $1 million debut effort in a two-part, $5 million program sponsored by DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions.

The EPIC prize seeks to recognize the most innovative and impactful incubators focused on developing strong regional innovation clusters for energy-related technology and entrepreneurship.

New UT System Executive Director Delphia Howze

Delphia Howze
Delphia Howze

Delphia Howze was hired as the UT System’s executive director of equity and diversity.

Howze will consult and partner with UT campuses and institutes to advance efforts to identify and remove social, financial and health disparities that impede diversity, equity and inclusion.