|I.||A vision of what a large multifaceted, multipurpose research university can and should be.|
|II.||The wise allocation and use of resources to achieve that vision.|
|III.||A process of governance that facilitates movement toward that vision.|
a. Teaching effectiveness is restricted in many areas by both inadequate departmental operating budgets and also by underequipped and outdated instructional facilities. Capital outlays are required for modernizing instructional facilities throughout the university.There are two issues of concern to faculty that should be addressed by UT and State officials:
b. Research effectiveness is restricted by this same lack of adequate space and modern instruments and equipment. Capital outlays are required to equip and expand facilities for research and creative achievement.
c. A more comprehensive and better funded professional development program is needed. The severely limited opportunity for such a program reduces faculty effectiveness. It also puts UTK at a disadvantage in recruitment of new faculty because most major research universities have sabbatical programs.
d. UTK needs a major infusion of funds for scholarships, loans, graduate assistantships, and other forms of financial aid. Our quality as a university is in large part determined by the quality of our students. As a land grant university, we must strive to see that all well-qualified students will be able to attend UTK. In light of our history as a racially-segregated institution, we are specially committed to taking affirmative steps to increase the number of well-qualified black students enrolled at UTK. More generally, we must be committed to improving the overall academic quality of the student body at UTK and to increasing the number of academically superior students enrolled in UTK's undergraduate and graduate programs. Because of the role they play in the classroom, attracting high-quality graduate students is particularly important. Notwithstanding program excellence and relatively low tuition, we will remain competitively disadvantaged in our efforts to attract academically superior students of all races to UTK until such time as we can offer larger scholarships, stipends and awards to a greater number of students.
e. Increases in faculty salaries are imperative. Average salaries in many areas at UTK remain low in comparison with peer institutions. As starting salaries are raised, allowing us to compete more effectively for faculty, serious inequities result--both within disciplines and by disciplines. Some differentiation by discipline is inevitable, and differentiation within disciplines is desirable. However, great inequity can threaten the cohesiveness that is required to make a highly diverse faculty a working whole.
f. The completion of the Hodges Library at UTK has had a positive effect on the entire campus. However, further improvement in academic programs at UTK will depend upon increased funding for the library. The library must be able to build a core collection of the materials that are essential in a research university. Rising book and journal prices make it difficult to realize this goal. The ability of faculty members at UTK and throughout the state to conduct their work will inescapably be affected unless the problem of library funding is addressed. The planned capital campaign for the UTK Library, as important as it is, will not solve our total acquisitions problems.
g. Effectiveness of faculty in both teaching and research is enhanced by competent technical, office and other support personnel. Employees with good qualifications should be rewarded with suitable job classifications and salaries.
a. The introduction of an optional system of phased retirement.
b. Some benefits, such as retirement payments and certain aspects of health insurance coverage, have improved over time. However, there have been some considerable decreases in health insurance coverage such as the inclusion of substantial restrictions and the absence of meaningful coverage for some catastrophic illnesses including mental illnesses and substance abuse.