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June 2022

New for 2022—23: 401(k) Match Increase

From Retirement Services:

For the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2022, general state and higher education employees will be eligible to receive a $2 match for every $1 contributed to the State of Tennessee 401(k) plan each month, up to $100. That is a maximum match of $100 per month for contributions of $50 or more.

If you are already contributing at least $50 to your 401(k) account each month, you are set to receive the full $100 match beginning with the first payroll for FY23 (July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023).

If you have not yet enrolled or are not currently contributing at least $50 each month to the 401(k) account, consider seizing the additional dollar amount. To get the full match for the fiscal year, log into your 401(k) account now at to make sure your monthly contributions equal at least $50 per month.

Learn More about the Match Increase

Probationary Period Reviews for Staff — Available Online

Beginning July 1, 2022 all 6-month probationary reviews will be available in the Online Performance Review (OPR) system. Since its inception, the OPR system has increased administrative efficiencies saving time, paper, and making reviews possible from any location! The online probationary review process mirrors the annual review making the probationary process smoother for everyone!

Visit the Staff Performance Review page on the HR website for more information. Select the drop-down option for “Probationary Period Reviews.”

View Policy HR0135 Probationary Period. For questions, contact HR or call (865) 974-6642 and select option 3 for Employee Relations.

Human Resources (HR) will not accept paper probationary forms after September 1, 2022.

ERC Elections: Vote Today

Employee Relations Committee (ERC) representatives play a major role in advising and influencing those in management about University policies, as well as discussing employee needs and concerns with the University Administration.

We have two ERC groups representing regular, non-exempt staff at UT Knoxville: Knoxville Operations and Knoxville Administration.

Online elections are underway for the 2022—24 term. Non-exempt staff will receive an email with more information on how to vote online for their next area’s representative.

Learn More About ERCs

Sick Leave Bank: Enrollment Ends June 30

We are accepting applications for new enrollees in the Knoxville—Area and Institute of Agriculture Sick Leave Banks (SLB) through next Thursday, June 30.

To be eligible, you must be employed as a regular employee accruing sick leave, with a sick leave balance of at least 48 hours or 6 days (pro-rated for regular, part-time employees) by June 30.

Applicants will be notified in July if they were successfully enrolled into their area’s Bank.

Enroll in the Sick Leave Bank Today

Calling All Vols: Please Help Our Backpack Drive

Human Resources is collaborating with campus partners and the Knoxville Area Urban League (KAUL) to help with the annual Shoes for School event taking place on Saturday, August 6, 2022 at Caswell Park.

Shoes for School provides school supplies, backpacks, and new athletic shoes to Knoxville area school children. Each year approximately 5,000+ students are served during the large distribution event. 2022 marks the fifth year that Human Resources has collected backpacks to distribute to children during the event.

Your donations are needed! We are collecting new and gently used backpacks as well as monetary donations that will be used to purchase backpacks in bulk.

Even one backpack will help an area student who is in need.

Learn More About Donating Backpacks

Mobile Mammography on Campus: July 12

LEAN Training

In May, eleven members of our Human Resource Dept. had the privilege of attending LEAN (Lean Applied to Business Processes) at the Haslam College of Business with Mr. Bill Peterson in preparation for the ongoing ERP project.

This was not only an incredible learning opportunity to help us grow as a team, but to work alongside other campus partners in training efforts to develop better relationships and new tools to better serve the UTK campus.

We are excited to engage and utilize our new tools and knowledge and hope to have more opportunities to come!

Dollywood Tickets at a Special Price

From the Division of Student Life website:

Dollywood has partnered with Student Life to offer a special price on Dollywood tickets for students, staff, faculty, and their families.

Through this partnership, ticket prices to the theme park are being offered at $45 per ticket, which is half of the price of regular tickets.

Purchase Discounted Dollywood Tickets
Learn More About Other Employee Discounts

Art in Our Backyard: It’s “All the Buzz”

Staff Spotlight: Jay Haley

Jay is a recent addition to our HR Recruitment team as of last month. He was born and raised in Lynchburg, VA. Jay received his Bachelor’s in Physical Education and his Master’s in Theological Studies from Liberty University.

Jay served in the Army for six years, and afterward settled in Tennessee to raise his family. He moved to Knoxville in 2017, to work with the homeless in the local area. He works at Knox Area Rescue Ministry serving on all aspects of those less fortunate or in need. Jay dedicates most of his time with serving in various outreach programs and any program that allows assistance to those in need.

Jay is excited to be an addition to the HR team and to begin his new role here in Big Orange country.

Hobbies: Working out, classic comedy sitcoms, and food (cooking/eating).

Family: Wife Michalanna, Daughter Ariana, Sons Elijah and Jaden.

View Upcoming UTK HR Events

Our campus partners include:

The Pride Center and Division of Diversity & Engagement

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