The Value of Values

UT President Randy Boyd speaks to UT Knoxville ROTC cadets.

Running is my passion. In many ways, I’ve been running all my life—running to be a better husband, running to be a better father and now running to help build the greatest decade in UT history.

We’ve accomplished so many things—together—during the last several years, from record investments in UT by our state legislature to opening our first new campus in more than 50 years in Pulaski and establishing UT Promise—all of which provide even more opportunities for individuals to achieve their dreams of earning a college degree.

Accomplishments like these do not happen without core values, those strong fundamental beliefs and guiding principles which everyone tries to live out. Core values are our rally cry for how our organization will operate and treat each and every person with each and every interaction with the University of Tennessee, its campuses and institutes. Values define our culture, and our culture is the most important thing that we will create, nurture and leave behind.

With valuable input from our faculty, staff and students, we developed the Be One UT values to serve as the roadmap for all we do to reinforce our mission, bridge gaps, fill voids, find solutions and improve life in our great state.

The following seven values define Be One UT:

  • Bold and impactful: Serving the state by tackling grand challenges
  • Embrace diversity: Respecting individual and organizational uniqueness that makes us stronger
  • Optimistic and visionary: Empowering courageous leadership
  • Nimble and innovative: Inspiring creative and transformational action
  • Excel in all we do: Committing to continuous improvement and outstanding performance
  • United and connected: Collaborating internally and externally for greater collective impact
  • Transparent and trusted: Fostering integrity through openness, accountability and stewardship

As you read the stories in this issue of Our Tennessee, I hope you will get a strong sense for how we are living out our values to better serve the state of Tennessee. From a new business incubator to an interdisciplinary program that supports children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families, the UT System is working hard to make this the greatest decade in our history.

Randy Boyd, Knoxville ’79