Featured photo: UT President Randy Boyd reads You Can’t Buy a Dinosaur with a Dime to children during a Money Week class about financial literacy. Photo By Sam Thomas
I believe a great mission lives between the probable and the impossible. The probable is something that you can do but is not very exciting. For example, you know that, if you come to work and do your job, you can achieve the probable mission.
If a mission is impossible, nobody believes it—and no one will buy into it.
If a mission lives between the probable and the impossible, it’s beyond what you can expect just doing what you normally do, but with a little innovation, imagination and determination, it just might be possible.
Our great state is facing seemingly impossible challenges around substance misuse, rural community decline and K-12 education needs. We can only label these as Grand Challenges, as they are difficult problems that will need a sustained multi-discplinary solution. As we seek to untangle these problems, we know it will benefit everyone in the state to lead more prosperous lives.
These challenges ignite chain reactions that significantly impact livelihoods and quality of life for Tennesseans across the state.
But the UT System, with its statewide presence, people, expertise, resources and influence, is uniquely positioned to tackle these challenges.
Across our campuses, experts, students and leaders are coming together to solve issues head on. At UT Chattanooga, the engAGING Communities program addresses elderly care issues in rural areas, while nurses train as midwives at the UT Health Science Center to improve pregnancy care in communities that lack the necessary support. Experts at both UT Martin and the Institute of Agriculture are enhancing the educational landscape by implementing unique programs, like elementary-level financial literacy and providing greater support for educators. UT Knoxville provides machining training and the retooling of that industry.
As you read the stories of Our Tennessee, you’ll find ways that you can take action to solve these Grand Challenges and aid in helping the state.
Together, as a university and as Tennesseans, these challenges won’t be insurmountable.
Together, we will usher in a better tomorrow for all of Tennessee and make this the greatest decade not just in the history of the University of Tennessee, but for all of Tennessee.
We’ve already started.