Faculty Handbook
July 1999

Section 1Section 2Section 3Section 4Section 5Section 6Section 7

Section 1 Introduction

1.1 The University of Tennessee

Founded in 1794, The University of Tennessee (The University) is a statewide, multicampus, land grant university providing comprehensive, postsecondary educational experiences. The University is a corporate agency of the State of Tennessee. The purpose of The University is "to engage in the government function of affording an education primarily to the youth and citizens of the State of Tennessee and to instruct and train them in those subjects leading to the degrees of bachelor of arts, master of arts, medical degrees or any other degree known and used in any college or university in any of the United States; also to be a leading research institution devoted to research and instruction in agriculture, the arts and sciences, law, medicine, business, education, architecture, and the other disciplines."1

The University's governing body is the Board of Trustees (Board), made up of certain ex officio members as well as certain members appointed by the Governor of Tennessee. The chief executive officer of The University is the President who reports to the Board. The table of organization and organizational chart of The University are contained in Appendix A.

1.2 The University of Tennessee Health Science Center

Established in 1911, the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) is The University's comprehensive academic health science center. The mission of UTHSC is "to improve human health through education, research, and public service, with an emphasis on improving the health of Tennesseans" 2. The chief executive officer of UTHSC is the Chancellor, who reports to the President. The table of organization and organizational chart, showing the principal administrative officers of UTHSC are contained in Appendix B.

1.3 The Faculty of UT Health Science Center

The Faculty of UTHSC (Faculty) is the society of scholars appointed by The University to collectively teach, investigate, and perform patient care and other public and institutional service, in furtherance of the mission of UTHSC. The specific academic assignment of the individual faculty member is determined cooperatively by the faculty member and The University, with appropriate regard given to both the academic interests of the faculty member and the academic needs of The University (Section 4); however, the final decision regarding the faculty member's specific academic assignment rests with the Chair and/or Dean (Section 4.3.1). All members of the Faculty, regardless of rank, seniority, or tenure status, are expected to continually maintain expertise and seek additional knowledge in their field of study, and to use that expertise and knowledge to benefit others.

The UTHSC Faculty is organized into colleges, as well as certain non-collegiate academic units, based primarily on the health sciences professions and the curricula. The colleges and non-collegiate academic units are further subdivided into departments, divisions, etc., when warranted by the size of the college or unit. The colleges and non-collegiate academic units of UTHSC are:

  • the College of Allied Health Sciences,
  • the College of Dentistry,
  • the College of Graduate Health Sciences,
  • the College of Medicine,
  • the College of Nursing,
  • the College of Pharmacy,
  • the Graduate School of Medicine3,
  • the Library and Biocommunications Center, and
  • the School of Biomedical Engineering.

1.4 The Faculty Handbook

The UTHSC Faculty Handbook (Faculty Handbook) is intended to be a general reference to University guidelines and policies. This Faculty Handbook supersedes all collegiate and departmental bylaws, which must conform to this Handbook.

When official University policies and procedures are changed by action of the Board of Trustees, or other duly constituted authority, such changes become effective on the date designated at the time of their adoption and supersede any provision of the Faculty Handbook to the contrary without need for further notice. Notification of such changes is regularly given to collegiate and departmental offices and (on some topics) to individual faculty members. The most recently revised version of the Faculty Handbook is available on the UTHSC Faculty Senate home page at the following Internet address: /facsenate/handbook.html. Current UTHSC administrative policies are listed on the UTHSC home page at /policies/. University-wide policies are located on The University of Tennessee home page at http://www.utenn.edu/uwa/.

This Faculty Handbook has been designed for the use of the Faculty. Any suggestions for changes or improvements for future editions are always welcomed and should be forwarded to the UTHSC Chief Academic Officer and/or the President of the Faculty Senate.


  1. The Charter and Bylaws, Charter Provisions of The University of Tennessee, Article IV.
  2. Mission Statement.
  3. The Graduate School of Medicine is located at the UT Medical Center at Knoxville.