Working to Make Our Trails Better

Randy Boyd wears a UT extension shirt and stands along a walking path at UT Gardens in Knoxville

As a Boy Scout leader for 17 years, I taught the boys the Code of the Outdoors, which requires us to leave every trail better than we found it. It is also a way I have tried to live my life. As a land-grant institution, UT’s mission is to leave our state in a better place, from education to the impact we make in the lives of all Tennesseans every day, leaving all “trails” in a better place, even while we blaze new ones.

This is a year that will long be mentioned in UT’s history. The Tennessee General Assembly passed an unprecedented budget for UT that includes many critical investments for our system, its campuses and institutes, including:

  • 4 percent investment in UT’s systemwide salary pool
  • $5.1 million operating increase for the UT Health Science Center
  • $8 million to further develop the Oak Ridge Innovation Institute
  • $2.2 million recurring for 32 additional agriculture extension agents in rural and distressed counties
  • $4 million to support Graduate Medical Education
  • $500,000 to support the demolition of aging dormitories at UT Martin
  • $500,000 to support the University of Tennessee Institute for Public Service Law Enforcement Innovation Center
  • Funding of two UT capital projects—the UT Knoxville nursing building and the UT Health Science Center Nash build-out, as well as UT’s full capital maintenance request of $59.9 million

The most significant news of the summer was the official welcome of Martin Methodist College, now UT Southern, into the UT family. I have no doubt that UT Southern will be a trailblazer in providing opportunities for students in Southern Middle Tennessee. My deepest gratitude to Gov. Bill Lee, the Tennessee General Assembly, our UT Board of Trustees and the countless stakeholders who supported this historic effort.

Trails don’t just appear. Over time we construct routes that lead to our favorite destinations. Throughout these pages, you will experience how our campuses and institutes are crafting trails to a better world.

Randy Boyd, Knoxville ’79