University of Tennessee Knoxville

Office of the Provost Newsletter


As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your commitment to our university's academic excellence. The work you do every day is critical to UT's success.
I hope the upcoming break provides you with some well-deserved time for rest and relaxation.
John Zomchick
Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor

News and Notes

Bruce Wheeler, longtime professor in UT’s Department of History, passed away November 11. Wheeler joined the department in 1970 and served UT's campus and community for more than four decades. During his long career, he was recognized with numerous teaching awards and served as the head of the University’s Honors Program before his retirement in 2003.
Join Director of Teaching Development Jed Blanton for a Teaching Time Out. This new podcast, produced by educators for educators, is designed to share professional, evidence-based information to help faculty thrive in their careers. In just the time it takes for a cup of coffee, learn how you can navigate the challenges and opportunities presented during the academic year.
The Office of Ombuds Services offers workshops and information sessions designed to empower graduate students, faculty, and staff to constructively navigate conflict and engage in frequent, open, and constructive dialogue. Faculty are encouraged to participate in, recommend, and request these interactive skills-building sessions. Learn more about educational programming offered by the UT Ombuds office.
The campus honorary degree nominating committee is accepting nominations for honorary degrees, the highest form of recognition offered by the University of Tennessee. Nominators must hold a current faculty appointment with UT. Nominations are due February 9, 2024. Information about criteria, required documentation, and a link to the nomination form are available on the honorary degree information page.


In Case You Missed It (ICYMI): Achievements, recognitions, and more good news
Rachel White, assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, recently received the Jack A. Culbertson Early Career Award from the University Council for Education Administration. The prestigious Culbertson Award is presented yearly to an outstanding junior educational leadership professor to recognize their significant contributions to the field of educational leadership.
Michael Danquah, associate dean for academic and student affairs in the Tickle College of Engineering, was awarded the 2023 Joseph N. Cannon Award for Excellence in Chemical Engineering at the 2023 National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers annual conference. This award recognizes an individual for excellent achievement in one or more aspects of chemical engineering, including teaching, research and development, management, leadership, publications, technology development, patents, engineering and construction, process operations and supply.
Robert Kelchen, head of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, has been awarded the Excellence in Public Policy Higher Education Award from the Association for the Study of Higher Education. This award recognizes excellence in work at the nexus of academic scholarship and policy practice.
Derek Alderman, professor in the Department of Geography and Sustainability, has received the George J. Miller Award for Distinguished Service to Geographic Education from the National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE). This award, which is NCGE's highest honor, recognizes those who have dedicated a lifetime in service to geography education.
William Raphael (Raph) Hix, UT-ORNL joint faculty professor, has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society for his contributions to understanding explosive thermonuclear burning and nucleosynthesis, particularly in contexts such as supernovae.
Brooke Bauer, assistant professor in the Department of History, was recently awarded the annual Berkshire Conference of Women Historians Book Prize (Women and Gender Category) for 2022. Her book, entitled, Becoming Catawba: Catawba Indian Women and Nation-Building, 1540–1840, tells the history of women who maintained the Catawba Nation.
There is more good news on campus than can fit in one newsletter. If you have some good news you'd like to send us for a future monthly edition, we'd love to hear it. Send a 2-3 sentence summary and link to

Making Connections

Upcoming events where you can gather, connect with colleagues, and have fun.

Save the Date

Faculty Appreciation Week | February 26—March 1, 2024
Spring Celebration for Faculty | May 23, 2024

Contact Us

Office of the Provost
527 Andy Holt Tower
Knoxville, TN 37996-0184
Phone: 865-974-2445

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