Welcome back! I hope you all took advantage of the winter break to rest and recuperate. We have a very full and busy campus this spring, which means lots of activities and opportunities for our students and lots of engagement from our faculty and staff.
A hearty congratulations to all of us as it appears we will have the largest number of returning students and additional transfer students in recent memory. Our retention rates are due to the hard work of you – our faculty, advising and other staff, and graduate students – who work with our undergraduate students to engage them in their majors and minors, as well as other extracurricular activities that round out their Volunteer experience. Thank you for your work!
In case you missed it, Knoxville got hit with some bitter winter weather in late December. Power outages and low temperatures caused extensive damage to the steam system and some water pipes across campus. Several of our buildings were impacted from leaking water or damaged equipment (sometimes from repeated outages or temperature fluctuations). If you have not been back to campus yet and you return to find evidence of temperature or water damage, or continued water in your office or other space, please let your department head know. Department heads can share the information with Larry McKay, associate dean for research and facilities, who is working with UT Facilities Services to make repairs. Also, they are working to discover what equipment may have been damaged for insurance purposes. Please take a good look around and let us know what damage you see.
Finally, as wintery as it seems most days now, we are likely only six weeks away from the onset of a beautiful Appalachian spring. We have a few weeks of excitement as students return and classes resume, but it’s only a matter of time until spring break, so hang in there when the going gets tough!
Thank you for your work and Go Vols!
Theresa M. Lee
Hebert Family Dean
College of Arts and Sciences