From the Senior Vice President
and Senior Vice Chancellor
July 24, 2020
As the UT Knoxville campus prepares for the return of students, we must also prepare to reopen our UTIA offices. Supervisors should be in the process of preparing our UTIA facilities, and people, for an early August reopening. Checklists to ensure the utmost safety have been shared with administration, and they address issues such as safe workspaces, face-to-face contacts, and signage. While offices are expected to be open, all employees do not need to be present for the full duration of operating hours. Supervisors may work with their teams to develop the best solution to ensure coverage. However, on-site presence should be shared among all employees unless a high-risk consideration exists.
As we see cases increase in many of our Tennessee counties, we must plan appropriately and incorporate the necessary precautions to maintain our health and safety. Study after study supports the evidence that wearing masks, social distancing, and frequent handwashing are key in reducing the transmission of the virus. As we make our plans to reopen, we are all relying on the most current guidance and procedures to support the safety and health of employees, students, and visitors in all of our facilities across the state.
I want to, once again, thank Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture Charlie Hatcher for joining our Fireside Chat today. Hatcher is not only a great friend of the Institute, he serves on the UT Board of Trustees and is an alumnus of the College of Veterinary Medicine. He offered some important insight into how the COVID-19 pandemic is also affecting our producers, and shared similar plans that the Tennessee Department of Agriculture is using to help our farming community find ways to mitigate the virus. It was great to have him with us as we are all in this together!
Please enjoy a restful weekend and thank you for your continued service to UTIA.