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Mission and Vision

Mission

The primary mission of the University of Tennessee is to move forward the frontiers of human knowledge and enrich and elevate the citizens of the state of Tennessee, the nation, and the world. As the preeminent research-based land-grant university in the state, UT embodies the spirit of excellence in teaching, research, scholarship, creative activity, outreach, and engagement attained by the nation’s finest public research institutions. 

UT’s Carnegie Classification is very high research activity (Doctoral Universities R1 category). Most undergraduates are full-time, and admission is selective with a fairly low transfer-in rate. Admission to graduate and professional programs is also competitive. Graduate offerings include master’s, doctoral, and professional programs that focus both on research and practice. Nationally ranked programs, as well as our partnerships with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, are among UT’s unique characteristics.

Vision

We seek to establish the University of Tennessee as a top-tier public research university. Inherent in this vision is an acknowledgment that UT is currently a premier institution. Our vision reflects a desire to contribute to the legacy of the university and its longstanding tradition of excellence. Our journey embraces our Volunteer identity and builds on the strengths that differentiate us from our peers. Our success will depend on a sustained commitment to improvement as part of our culture.

Volunteer Values

Our culture is guided by adherence to core values that define the Volunteer spirit and permeate who we are, what we do, and our approach to living and learning at UT and beyond.

Seeking Knowledge. The Volunteer spirit is intelligent, curious, and honors freedom of speech and the free exchange of ideas. This type of inquiry encourages intellectual growth, a lifelong pursuit of knowledge, and a sharing of this knowledge, as embodied by the Torchbearer.

Leading with Innovation and Integrity. We know that solutions to modern problems arise through an understanding and application of existing data but also through creative thinking. Volunteers value character and integrity. The best leaders foster ethical and professional behavior such as open dialogue, transparency, and accountability within their groups.

Advancing Diversity and Inclusion. The Volunteer community encompasses faculty, staff, students, and alumni of different cultures and backgrounds. Respecting the contributions and strengths of each individual is integral to teamwork and to fostering a culture of inclusive excellence.

Engaging Locally and Globally. Volunteers get involved. Whether acting within our local and extended communities or embracing global challenges, the UT community strives to make a difference.

Embracing Responsible Stewardship of Resources. Sustainability of resources, whether in terms of financial resources, infrastructure, or the environment, is key to a healthy institution. Practicing these values at UT builds a lifelong respect for managing resources responsibly.