​​Keith Barber Wins the Professional/Academic Award

Picture of Keith Barber with UTIA leader Tim Cross

Keith Barber, UTIA vice chancellor for institutional advancement and leader of the Institute’s fundraising team, is the winner of the 2019 UTIA Professional/Academic Award.​ Barber (above left) is shown with Tim Cross, UTIA senior vice president and senior vice chancellor. Photo by T. Salvador, courtesy UTIA. Download image​

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture recognized some of its top faculty, staff, researchers and Extension experts at UTIA’s annual Awards and Promotions Luncheon held on the UTIA campus in Knoxville August 2, 2019. Many of the awards are gifts made possible by past faculty, alumni and friends of the Institute.

UTIA Senior Vice President and Senior Vice Chancellor Tim Cross hosted the award winners and praised them for their work. “The faculty and staff of the UT Institute of Agriculture are known on campus and throughout the state as dedicated, hard-working and knowledgeable experts who provide real-life solutions to challenging issues every day,” said Cross. “The awards presented at this ceremony recognize excellence in research, education, Extension outreach as well as service programs that benefit our stakeholders. They serve as our way to express our gratitude for a job well done.”

Keith Barber, UTIA vice chancellor for institutional advancement and leader of the Institute’s fundraising team, is the winner of the Professional/Academic Award.

“Being recognized with the Institute’s Professional/Academic Award for Outstanding Service is both humbling and rewarding,” Barber says. “The act of serving insists that we are intent on helping others be better. Each of us can do this every day, and, in doing so, we shape a servant culture that influences others to do the same.”

Barber is the point person for UTIA’s most ambitious campaign ever, titled “Together We Grow,” with a goal to raise $175 million over the next decade. Barber’s team posted back-to-back record fundraising years. In 2018, endowments topped $60 million, including the transformational gift from Jim and Judi Herbert, establishing the Herbert College of Agriculture, one of only two agricultural colleges in the country named from a philanthropic gift. Barber’s team also secured funds for the Smith Center for International Sustainable Agriculture, a gift from alumni Donnie and Terri Smith, an investment of more than $7 million.

He has also been involved in major fundraising campaigns for the UT Gardens, and has been actively involved with the National Agricultural Alumni Development Association, including two years as national president. In 2018, Barber received the NAADA Distinguished Service Award.

Through its mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions.



Charles Denney, UTIA Marketing and Communications, 865-382-8058,

Keith Barber, UTIA Institutional Advancement, 865-974-5779,