2019 Service Awards

For the past 39 years staff and faculty have been celebrated for their hard work, dedication, and commitment to The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Recipients will be honored at the Annual Service Awards Program with a luncheon on September 10th at 11:30 AM in the Tennessee Room of the University Center.

2020 UTC Voluntary Retirement Incentive Program


The 2020 UTC Voluntary Retirement Incentive Program (the Program) is a proactive measure designed to promote efficient alignment of demand (e.g., instructional needs or administrative workload) with campus resources.


Participation in the Program is strictly voluntary.  The Program is open to employees who – as of June 30, 2020 – have 20 years of service AND meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Eligible for Service Retirement[1] under the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS);
  2. Eligible for Early Retirement under TRCRS[2];
  3. Eligible for retirement under the Joint Contributory Retirement System (JCRS-A) ; OR
  4. Participate in the Optional Retirement Program (ORP) and meet the 20-year service requirement. [3]

UTC may limit the number of participants in this Program and may deny participation of any applicant based on business continuity and campus needs.  Approved participants may also be required to delay effective date of retirement based on campus needs.  When the number of participants will be limited, approval for participation may be based on years of creditable service or a phased approach may be utilized as a means to ensure continuity of service. UTC may discontinue this Program at any time, without notice.

Retirements currently in process:

This Program is open to employees who have provided written notice to UTC administration of the intent to retire, so long as the employee has not yet separated from University service at the time of his/her application for participation in this Program.

Grant-funded employees:

Employees whose base salaries are funded (in whole or in part) by federal grant/contract funds are not eligible to participate in this Program due to federal regulations regarding expenditure of federal funds.  For questions about how this requirement may affect a particular situation, please contact Todd Dockery in HR.

Terms of the Retirement Incentive:

  • Retirement Incentive payment: Participants will receive a lump sum incentive payment of 50% of the employee’s annualized base salary (not including any administrative or other stipend amounts) in effect on June 30, 2020, or the separation date, if sooner.
  • Faculty Emeritus/a: Faculty members who retire at the rank of Professor or Associate Professor may request the title of Professor Emeritus/a, which will be reviewed under the normal procedures.
  • Separation date: Participants will retire under this Program with a separation date no later than June 30, 2020, unless otherwise approved in writing by the University. All rights and obligations described in University policies and procedures remain unaffected by this Program and will continue to apply regardless of an employee’s application or participation.

Program Application Timeline:

  • Application process: Eligible employees will receive an e-mail attaching the application, disclosures required by law, and a sample Retirement Incentive Agreement and Release for review. Eligible employees interested in participating must complete the 2020 UTC Voluntary Retirement Incentive Program Application and return it by October 15, 2019 to UTC Human Resources, located at 720 McCallie Avenue, or by e-mail attachment at personnel@utc.edu.
  • Demographic disclosures: Federal law requires that the Program materials include a disclosure of certain demographic data regarding all eligible employees.  The demographic data will be provided together with the application.
  • Notice of acceptance: Applicants who are accepted for participation in the Program will be notified of acceptance by e-mail and regular U.S. mail. A Retirement Incentive Agreement and Release will be provided with the notice of acceptance. Once accepted, in order to participate, an applicant will be required to submit the signed agreement no later than close of business on November 15, 2019. If a signed agreement is not submitted by the deadline, the offer of participation in this Program is revoked and may be offered to another applicant.

[1]  Service Retirement (with unreduced benefits) under TCRS/JCRS is open to vested members aged 60 or older with at least 5 years of creditable service, or any age with at least 30 years of creditable service.

[2]  Early Retirement (reduced benefits) under TCRS/JCRS is open to vested members aged 55 or older with at least 10 years of creditable service, or any age with at least 25 years of creditable service.

[3]  For purposes of this Program, “years of service” or “service” for a participant in ORP will be determined by the calculation of state service equivalent to the TCRS “creditable service” calculation (ORP creditable service equivalent).

How to register for trainings

To register for trainings offered by HR, click on the K@TE button on the ribbon of the Human Resources page of the UTC website.

Search for the course in the upper right hand search box and click request. You will automatically be enrolled in the class.

Blue Ribbon Winners, 2019

Has a UTC employee gone the extra mile to help you?

Is there someone who continues to smile and have a positive attitude even when the workload is heavy? If you know just the person who fits this description, you can show your appreciation by nominating that person for the Chancellor’s Blue Ribbon Award.

Each month a committee, appointed by the Chancellor, chooses a Blue Ribbon Award winner who exhibits outstanding service to others from your nominations.  All full and part-time non-faculty UTC or UC Foundation staff are eligible for the award.  Nominations may be submitted by an UTC faculty, staff, student or member of the community.

Nominations must be received by the 10th of every month to be considered for the following month’s award. Submissions received after that date will be considered for the next month.  Nominations should be specific in identifying incidents or situations reflecting the reasons the nominee is deserving of this honor.

Please submit your nomination by clicking here.  Contact Janice Michaels, in Human Resources, at 423-425-4221 or Janice-Michaels@utc.edu if additional information is needed.

Blue Ribbon Winners, 2019


When diagnosed with a medical condition, Sandy Thornton stepped in and did all of my accounting for the University Center the entire time I was unable to work, states June Knowles. Not only did she do all of my accounting, she’d also call and or text me while I was away to see if I was okay or needed anything.

Sandy was very helpful and updated me on everything I missed while I was out. She is always just a phone call away. She always tells me, “that’s what co-workers are for. We are supposed to help each other.



The first weeks of each semester are days of high stress for School of Nursing students. Not only do they have a full load of classroom assignments, more than 150 of them must find time to head to the lab and practice their nursing skills.

Academic Support Specialist Michelle Rosana found a way to make it easier on the students, and her creative solution is one of the reasons she is a winner of a Chancellor’s Blue Ribbon Award for February 2019.

Under her direction, the lab is now open evenings and weekends, giving students more time to fit lab work into an already-packed schedule. She also incorporates new items that make the lab more like a working hospital. When students enter the clinical setting, they are better prepared and job-ready, one of the major goals for the School of Nursing.

But Michelle doesn’t stop there. She gives additional assistance to faculty members with the logistics of scheduling, anticipating their needs, states Tessa Mullinax-Baker who nominated her for the Blue Ribbon Award.

Michelle Rosano truly goes the extra mile to ensure a positive experience for the students and faculty in the School of Nursing, making her an excellent choice for the Blue Ribbon Award.



The Rollins College of Business employs a number of Graduate Assistants and, according to Christine Estoye, Sheri Carmichael likes to surprise them with little gift bags and hosting a chili dinner several times a year. She also lends a hand to the international students who attend the Rollins COB and ensures they feel at home in their dorms by lending them kitchen items for the semester and making grocery runs with them. The students truly appreciate having a “UTC mom”.



Bob Jackson and Robie Robinson recognized the impact of Faith Garner’s actions when a fellow employee was attending a national conference out-of-state and fell ill.  Faith’s dogged efforts…safely brought our Moc back to Chattanooga.  Jean-Marie Lawrence said “Her diligence and care helped me focus on healing and allowed me to get home as quickly as possible.”



Shirl Gholston and Melissa Laseter of Student Support Services are co-recipients for the month of May.

In her nomination letter, Stacie Grisham stated that Shirl’s dedication was apparent during the 50th Anniversary TRIO Ceremony that she coordinated. She used her own personal funds to purchase food and cook for the attendees. During the program, countless students vocalized their appreciation of “Mrs. G” for her support and guidance in their academic journey.

Melissa performs duties outside of her position description, states Shirl Gholston when nominating Melissa. She understands that student engagement with SSS leads to positive student outcomes. She maintains a student first attitude, no matter what the student need may be.



Whether it was an early morning meeting to discuss the budget, or a discussion about the HR process that continued well beyond business hours, Terri Bearbower was always available and accessible. Furthermore, states Lisa Piazza, I have been most impressed with how she consistently goes above and beyond to support our unit although it is by no means her obligation to do so.  In my view, Ms. Bearbower exemplifies the spirit of the Chancellor’s Blue Ribbon Award. She is a role model, and she consistently demonstrates professionalism, dedication to her position and the institution, and a collaborative spirit.



Sergeant Harry Wolverton serves as the Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Liaison Officer (SARVLO) for the UTC Police Department. In his nomination letter, Craig Hamilton states that Sgt. Wolverton consistently demonstrates compassion with victim-focused investigative responses while interacting with internal and external partners.  Sgt. Wolverton is often the first to respond to shift and special event staffing needs, as well as being a key contributor in improvement to the process necessary for hiring staff members.  He has been a great asset to the UTC Police Department since 2012.



Ruby Jordan is always cheerful and helpful with kind words for everyone states Judy Gallagher in her nomination letter.  She goes beyond what are considered her normal responsibilities. For instance, when she saw that the wife of a staff member who had passed away had run out of boxes while packing his office, Ruby found boxes and packed them for her. She then made sure to dust all of the shelves.  Ruby has served as a Custodian in Building Services for 20 years.



According to Faith Garner, Megs Hazare is one of those people who is happy to help in whatever way is needed.  This was very apparent late one Friday evening when we were having phone issues and I called the IT hotline hoping to catch someone before 5:00.  My call was forwarded to Megs who quickly determined what happened. Even though he had to leave to pick his child up from daycare, he came back to campus after hours to fix the problem. Not many people will willingly, and without complaint, come back after hours on a Friday night to help a co-worker, but I don’t think this is unusual for Megs.



Nominated by Amie Haun, Sue Culpepper and Jaclyn York are co-receipients for the month of October.  According to Amie, on Wed 8/28/19 Sue noticed out her window that police were running into Fletcher Hall. She alerted her coworkers and they began working to gather students and alert faculty. Jaclyn then went down to the first floor and opened Amie’s closed classroom door to alert her and to lock her door so as to give her some protection from any unwanted visitor that might attempt to harm them.  Their acts of courage and concern were appreciated.



Nominated by 12 different people, Kim McCroskey was recognized for the impact of her efforts in the School of Nursing at UTC.  When nominating Kim, Dr. Susan Thul & the School of Nursing faculty stated “This nomination represents our recognition of and appreciation for Kim’s approach to the very challenging & time consuming task of transition Nursing courses to Canvas. At a time when technology advances can reduce human interaction & customer service, Kim went above & beyond to make sure the School of Nursing faculty felt empowered & well supported.

For Your Benefit Fall 2018 Newsletter

For Your Benefit is a newsletter addressing the benefits offered to you as a UT employee. This newsletter provides an opportunity to communicate information and issues that directly affect you. Read MORE… in the Fall 2018 Newsletter.

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