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UT Wins APLU’s Prestigious National Trailblazer Award

Left to right, James P. Clements, president of Clemson University and incoming chair of the APLU board; UT Vice Provost Sally McMillian; UT Assistant Provost Ruth Darling; UT Vice Chancellor Chris Cimino; UT Provost Susan Martin; UT Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek; APLU President Peter McPherson; and APLU Vice President John Lee.

Left to right, James P. Clements, president of Clemson University and incoming chair of the APLU board; UT Vice Provost Sally McMillian; UT Assistant Provost Ruth Darling; UT Vice Chancellor Chris Cimino; UT Provost Susan Martin; UT Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek; APLU President Peter McPherson; and APLU Vice President John Lee.

UT has won a prestigious national honor for improving its retention and graduation rates.

At its meeting this morning in Orlando, the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities honored UT with its “Most Visible Progress” Trailblazer award. Now in its second year, the award encourages colleges and universities to make retention and graduation a high priority by rewarding and highlighting programs that work.

“Our member institutions recognize that access—walking in the front door to college— is not the primary goal; it’s getting a complete education, learning to learn and walking back out with a degree in hand ready to contribute to the world,” said APLU President Peter McPherson. “UT has significantly advanced its goals to increase retention and degree completion success on its campus, and they’ve done it in their own way. APLU honors their accomplishments and will help share their efforts with other public universities so that these innovative approaches can be modeled and replicated elsewhere in order to reach the collective goals of the Project Degree Completion initiative.”UT was presented with a sculpture and a $20,000 prize to further advance degree completion initiatives. APLU is an organization of 236 public research universities, and state university systems in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Accepting the award, Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek said, “We have worked hard to make the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, a better place. It’s an honor to be recognized by our peers for these efforts. It’s an exciting time at UT and we’re proud of this award.”

Continue reading and watch a video about UT’s progress at tntoday.utk.edu.