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Recording of Divisive Concepts event with Dr. Sachs

Many thanks to all who attended our spring event last week. More than 60 were in attendance!! We were thrilled to have a well-informed speaker, Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, discuss concerns of the Tennessee “divisive concepts” bill that is awaiting Governor Lee’s signature. If you missed the event or would like to re-watch, the recording is now available.

Request to Chancellor and Provost to Speak Out Against “Divisive Concepts” Bills

Dear Chancellor Plowman and Provost Zomchick: As we are sure you are aware, the Tennessee General Assembly is in the process of passing a law that will greatly impact our ability to teach courses, topics, and issues necessary to educate our students. We believe our students seek the rigor and challenge of courses from our R1, flagship, land-grant institution because our curriculum not only prepares them for successful careers, but also offers them an expanded understanding of the world in which they live. Bills like SB2290/HB2670 will have a severe chilling effect on what is taught and discussed in the classroom. The bill allows for… Read More »Request to Chancellor and Provost to Speak Out Against “Divisive Concepts” Bills

Sample Email to Chancellor Plowman

To: Chancellor@utk.eduCC: Dear Chancellor Plowman: I am a _______ working/teaching in _________ department. I am concerned about Covid because _______. Therefore, I agree with the five requests put forth by the UTK Chapter of the AAUP in their letter to you on January 6, 2022. 1. We request that staff be allowed to work remotely, whenever possible, to decrease their likelihood of Covid infection and transmission;  2. We request that all staff who are required to work on campus be provided with 10 free N95 masks each month;  3.  We request that UT pivot to virtual teaching modalities for all lecture courses in order… Read More »Sample Email to Chancellor Plowman

Letter to campus from Chancellor Plowman

Office of the Chancellor January 7, 2022 Colleagues, I hope everyone has had a restful break and happy start to the new year. As you know, we are beginning the year with a rise in COVID-19 cases caused by the omicron variant. We are watching community health conditions closely. Fortunately, the addition of the winter mini-term has already pushed back the start of classes to January 24. While a lot can change between now and then, we want to provide an update: Course modality. We intend to maintain scheduled face-to-face modality. One of the things we have learned in the past two years is that face-to-face… Read More »Letter to campus from Chancellor Plowman

Response from the Chancellor’s Office

Dr. Howes, Thank you for the e-mail to Chancellor Plowman. Shortly, you should expect to receive an e-mail that is being sent to the campus about the current plans for the spring semester. I will make sure that members of the campus Policy Group receive your group’s input for consideration in ongoing management decisions. Matthew Scoggins Chief of Staff Office of the Chancellor 533 Andy Holt Tower 1331 Circle Park Drive Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 (865) 974-2356 (office direct) (865) 599-5679 (cell) 

Letter to Plowman regarding Omicron and Campus Safety

Sent: Thursday, January 6, 2022 4:20 PMTo: Chancellor Donde Plowman <>Subject: Letter from local AAUP regarding Covid safety on campus   It takes people who listen and learn and put others first. People who pull together and push each other to new heights…and it takes something inside all of us, something that drives us to do better for ourselves, for each other. Because obstacles are opportunities. Challenges bring change. And we know that those who are willing to step forward will be ready for whatever lies ahead. It takes courage to light the way. It takes a Volunteer. – UT Admissions Video  6 January 2022 … Read More »Letter to Plowman regarding Omicron and Campus Safety

Response from Chancellor’s Office

Scoggins, MatthewFri 12/3/2021 5:41 PM Dr. McAlpin, This acknowledges your e-mail to Chancellor Plowman. The issues you raised have been addressed by the administration in previous campus communications, including the e-mail from the Chancellor on Wednesday in which she outlined the constraints placed on the University as a result of Tennessee law and the preliminary injunction against enforcement of the applicable federal executive order. As we have throughout the pandemic, we will continue to monitor and respond appropriately to changes in local and campus health conditions and the legal landscape. Matthew Scoggins Chief of Staff Office of the Chancellor 533 Andy Holt Tower 1331 Circle… Read More »Response from Chancellor’s Office

Letter to Chancellor Plowman Regarding Masks

The following was just sent (Friday 12.3.21 around 10:30 am) to Chancellor Plowman and Provost Zomchick on behalf of UCW and the UTK AAUP: Dear Chancellor Plowman, We are writing to request that the UT Knoxville campus follow CDC guidelines regarding masking indoors, reinstate the mask mandate, and allow those who can to work remotely, immediately, in the interest of keeping our campus safe from COVID. The CDC currently recommends that everyone in areas of substantial or high transmission wear a mask in public indoor places, even if they are fully vaccinated. Moreover, in Knox County, the CDC reports that the average positivity rate is 8.22%… Read More »Letter to Chancellor Plowman Regarding Masks

New York Times Reports on Chilling Effects of “China Initiative” and Dr. Anming Hu

On November 28, 2021, the New York Times published As U.S. Hunts for Chinese Spies, University Scientists Warn of Backlash.  According to the report, a chilling effect has taken hold on American campuses, contributing to an outflow of academic talent that may hurt the United States while benefiting Beijing.  The trial of Dr. Hu, who worked at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, is being held up as a clear example of government overreach. He was under house arrest for 18 months during the investigation with no job or income, reliant on GoFundMe donations for his legal defense fees. Neighbors and church friends delivered groceries and took out… Read More »New York Times Reports on Chilling Effects of “China Initiative” and Dr. Anming Hu