UT kicks off campus-wide Civility and Community Initiative
Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek hosted a crowd of faculty, staff, students, and alumni in celebrating civility and community on the UT campus last Friday.
Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek at the 2011 International Festival and Celebration of Civility and CommunityThe day marked the formal launch of a campus-wide effort to ensure that civility is an integral part of the UT community and what it means to be a Tennessee Volunteer. The event was part of UT's annual International Festival.
The principles are ten key words which have been defined as the best way to demonstrate civility and value for the campus community.
Cheek announced that civility will be a core component of Freshman Orientation. The principles of civility and community also will be central to FYS 100: The Volunteer Connection, a new zero-credit, pass-fail course, which is now a required course for all freshmen.
Asian martial arts and acrobatics performance at the 2011 International FestivalCivility goals are already part of UT's Ready for the World effort to prepare students for working in a global economy. Faculty and staff will integrate civility in their ongoing programs which explore diverse cultures and backgrounds.
Students are also being asked to make the emphasis in campus programming, as they make decisions about speakers, workshops, and campus entertainment.
The campus-wide Life of the Mind book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, highlights civility as a central theme. All freshmen are asked to read the book before arriving on campus and then participate in discussion groups about its themes during Welcome Week.
UT's Torch Night ceremony will build the principles into our values as Volunteers, Cheek said. Training for faculty, staff, and student leaders will be promoted as well.
Last spring, after several incidents of bias were reported, Cheek sent a memo to the campus emphasizing that he would not tolerate behavior that was hostile or unwelcoming to any member of the campus community. He assembled a task force on civility and community and asked its members to define civility and come up with a list of guiding principles and recommend ways to promote civility on campus.
The task force was co-chaired by Mike Wirth, dean of the College of Communication and Information, and included faculty, staff, students, and community members. The group looked at several existing campus-wide programs and services and made recommendations on how to bring the civility and community concepts to the forefront. The task force also recommended several new programs and services.
The final report, located at http://utk.edu/go/7a (pdf),also weighed in on policies, staffing, and ways to incorporate civility into coursework.
For more information about the effort, visit http://civility.utk.edu/.
UT's Team Living Light to hold construction open house on Tuesday
Team Living Light from UT will host a construction open house next week to celebrate progress made on the Living Light house.
Free and open to the public, the event will be from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the Design Build Annex, 3408 Henson Road, Knoxville.
The Living Light house is a functioning energy-efficient, solar-powered house that the group has designed for the Solar Decathlon 2011 competition.
Construction is nearing the halfway point. The floor and roof decks are complete and the walls are framed. The electrical and plumbing systems also have been roughed in.
The interior of the rectangular-shaped structure will be a large loft-like space with floor-to-ceiling glass panel walls, maximizing daylighting capabilities and opening it up to views of the landscape. A 10.9 kW solar array generates all power and provides shading for the home. Illumination, privacy and thermal comfort are controlled through an intuitive touch pad interface. This automation system even tracks energy usage and suggests changes to save money.
The interdisciplinary group of UT students and faculty — from the colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, and Engineering — has been working on the project since fall 2009 with an anticipated construction completion date of July 31. In late September, the team will begin readying the house for transportation to the competition in Washington, D.C., which will take place from September 23 to October 2 on the National Mall West Potomac Park, between the Jefferson Memorial and new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.
Like the Olympic decathlon, the Solar Decathlon consists of ten contests, which are designed to gauge how well the houses perform and how livable and affordable they are. For example, in the Appliances Contest, teams earn points for refrigerating and freezing food, washing and drying laundry, and running the dishwasher. Teams are scored on how well they balance production and energy consumption.
For more information about the Living Light house and Solar Decathlon competition, visit http://livinglightutk.com/.
UT hosts public meeting about campus master plan
UT will host a public meeting for the community to review the draft master plan for the Knoxville and agricultural campuses. The meeting is set for 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday at the UT Visitors' Center.
This community meeting is part of a series of meetings to get feedback on the draft plan. Once finalized, it will be a guide that helps the university pursue its overall goals and make decisions on land usage, placement of buildings and investments in infrastructure.
This new (2011) draft plan is an update to a previous version created in 1994 and updated in 2001.
A key element to moving UT from a Top 50 public research university to the ranks of the Top 25 involves having the resources to improve and supplement campus facilities in order to support first-rate academic and research programs, along with student housing and services.
The planning process identified significant needs for academic space on the Knoxville and agricultural campuses. The Knoxville campus has the greatest deficiencies in general classroom, class lab and research space.
Among the goals are to define current and future facility needs, promote a sense of community, integrate instruction, research, student living, and student life, and create a pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly environment. Considerations of traffic, parking and related infrastructure are taken into account, along with how to promote sound environmental policies and development and building practices.
After the review and stakeholder meetings, a final report will be submitted to the UT Board of Trustees for their consideration at their June meeting. If approved, the final draft is submitted to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and the State Building Commission for approval and finalization.
For more information about the master plan, visit http://www.utk.edu/masterplan/.