UT Public Service Has $1 Billion Impact on State Economy

 

KNOXVILLE — University of Tennessee President John Petersen praised the UT Institute for Public Service (IPS) last week for accomplishing more than $1 billion in economic impact in Tennessee in fiscal year 2008.

The accomplishment was announced to IPS staff Oct. 1 at the 2008 IPS Annual Conference.

“Three goals of the university are research, outreach and economic development, and each of these goals is met every day by our people in public service,” he said. “Through their work, the university is engaged in communities from northeast Tennessee to Memphis. Technology we develop on the campuses and at research centers reaches the rural areas of the state because of IPS employees.”

About four years ago, the institute’s Center for Industrial Services (CIS) set a goal to provide assistance to Tennessee’s manufacturers that resulted in $800 million of economic impact in a single year.

That objective was incorporated with goals for other IPS organizations and was included in the university’s overall strategic plan. The university set a goal to provide $1 billion of economic impact to the state by 2010, so 80 percent of that goal relied on CIS.

“That’s a pretty hefty goal for an organization of less than 50 people (at CIS), particularly when we were trending about $200 million of annual impact at the time the goal was set,” said Mary Jinks, UT vice president of public service.

“CIS met that 2010 objective of helping Tennessee firms achieve $800 million of economic impact, but the agency didn’t wait until 2010 to do it. In fact, CIS didn’t wait until 2008 to do it,” Jinks said. “For each of the past two years, CIS staff and resources have helped Tennessee companies achieve documented savings and increased sales totaling more than $800 million. The results are not university projections or estimations, but are reported by the industries, individuals, government entities and businesses that IPS assists.”

Jinks noted that during the past two years, CIS also became UT’s only ISO-certified organization and received the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence Achievement Award.

“These important achievements reflect the results of a group’s decision to chart an ambitious agenda and then assertively pursue accomplishing the goals,” Jinks said.

Following a brief recognition of CIS staff, Petersen addressed all IPS employees at the conference and lauded their efforts in leadership development programs, public safety, and rigorous training programs for elected officials, law enforcement personnel and industry workers.

“Changes in society are driven by business and higher education. IPS employees are engaged in communities, know the issues city and county and business leaders face, and can anticipate and address community needs in a dependable, efficient manner,” Petersen said. “Because of IPS, the university can align its priorities with community needs.”

Petersen’s visit with IPS employees was one of a series of meetings with each UT campus and institute this fall.

IPS has 10 offices statewide and is separate from the academic campuses. Only once a year, IPS employees come together at their annual conference for professional development and staff recognition. Other employees recognized for outstanding public service in 2008 are:

– Misty Bean, accounting assistant, Law Enforcement Innovation Center, Oak Ridge
– Kristy Godsey Brown, legal consultant, County Technical Assistance Service, Nashville
– John Chlarson, public works consultant, Municipal Technical Advisory Service, Jackson
– Ray Crouch, fire management consultant, Municipal Technical Advisory Service, Nashville
– Don Darden, municipal management consultant, Municipal Technical Advisory Service, Nashville
– Tess Davis, administrative specialist, Municipal Technical Advisory Service, Knoxville
– Kasey Draney, leadership coordinator, Institute for Public Service, Knoxville
– Randy Gustafson, research specialist, Municipal Technical Advisory Service, Knoxville
– Mike Hill, program manager, Law Enforcement Innovation Center, Oak Ridge
– Kevin Lauer, fire management consultant, County Technical Assistance Service, Oak Ridge
– Nathan Lefebvre, forensic specialist, Law Enforcement Innovation Center, Oak Ridge
– Ron Loewen, budget director, Institute for Public Service Central Office, Knoxville
– Elaine Morrisey, administrative assistant, Municipal Technical Advisory Service, Knoxville
– Matt Murray, UT Knoxville Center for Business and Economic Research (Faculty Excellence Award)
– Justin O’Hara, IT consultant, Municipal Technical Advisory Service, Knoxville
– Kim Raia, environmental consultant, County Technical Assistance Service, Knoxville
– Sabrina Rhodes, technology coordinator, Law Enforcement Innovation Center, Oak Ridge
– Gary West, fire management consultant, Municipal Technical Advisory Service, Knoxville
– Judy Wilhite, publications assistant, Institute for Public Service Central Office, Knoxville

Contacts:

Queena Jones, (865) 974-1533, queena.jones@tennessee.edu

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