June 2021 Board of Directors Meeting Overview

The UT Foundation Board of Directors held its annual meeting on June 11, 2021 at Lone Oaks Farm in Middleton, Tennessee. An overview of the meeting is below, and includes key action items voted on by the board.

University President Remarks

UT System President Randy Boyd spoke to the UTFI Board of Directors and provided updates and insights on UT System priorities. He reviewed the recent budget season, noting that it was the best in UT history. In addition to the various funded projects, Boyd added that the university will receive $5.1 million recurring and $1 million nonrecurring to address the higher education desert in southern middle Tennessee with the acquisition of Martin Methodist College. The measure is pending approval from the UT Board of Trustees, which will be discussed during its meeting on June 25.

Foundation President Report

UT Foundation President Kerry Witcher provided an overview of the Vision for 2025 and the status of key goals for fiscal year 2021. He also shared plans as the university and UT Foundation have returned to the workplace. Pointing to the year ahead, President Witcher reviewed plans for the Foundation’s major projects, including the UT Promise endowment, review of positions and compensation philosophy, diversity and inclusion task force and the customer relationship management software review.

Fiscal Year 2022 Draft Budget Presented

UT Foundation CFO Adam Heller presented the fiscal year 2022 draft budget, which was approved by the board. The draft budget plans for overall revenue growth of $3.1 million through an increase in the endowment market value, fees and investment earnings and an increase to university direct support to assist in funding the 4 percent salary pool.

Election of Board Directors

Board Chair Phil Wenk presented the board with five nominees to serve as elected directors for an initial three-year term beginning July 1, 2021. The board approved the following nominees:

Isaac Bennett is the vice president of capital markets for Farm Credit Bank and lives in Austin, Texas. He is a 1984 UT Knoxville, graduate in agriculture education and has been a member of UTIA’s Advancement Board since 2017.

Judith Herbert is a fashion consultant with Doncaster and lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She earned a degree in English in 1963 from UT Knoxville and serves the Dean’s Advisory Board for the UT Knoxville College of Arts and Sciences. She is a member of the Alliance of Women Philanthropists.

Renee Iacona is vice president biometrics and information sciences with AstraZeneca and lives in Washington D.C. She is a 1991 graduate of the University of Tennessee at Martin, earning a degree in biology. She is a member of the Alliance of Women Philanthropists and was named a UT Martin Distinguished Alumni in 2013.

Debbie Ingram is retired professor and department head at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and lives in Chattanooga. She holds degrees from UT Chattanooga (1984) in education and UT Knoxville (1994) in finance and education/leadership studies. She serves on the Alumni Legislative Council and Alliance of Women Philanthropists, and is a past president and current member of the UT Alumni Association Board of Governors.

Richard Warren is partner in the law firm Bradley Arant Boult Cummings in Nashville, and is the current chair of the Martin Methodist College Board of Trustees. He was named Nashville’s Real Estate Lawyer of the Year in 2009 and 2019 through The Best Lawyers in America®.

In addition to the new members, the following current board members were nominated to serve another three-year term beginning July 1, 2021:

Ronald E. Frieson

Charles A. Wagner

Philip A. Wenk, Current Chair

The meeting concluded with Wenk thanking the following outgoing board directors for their service:

Tim Cross has completed his two-year term as chancellor representative, serving the Real Estate Committee.

Betty Ann Tanner was elected in 2015 and has served six years on the Audit and Finance Committee.

Jim Herbert was elected in 2015 and has served two full terms; his first on Development and second on Directorship Committee.

Mike Littlejohn began his service in 2014 as UTAA representative for two years. He served as chair of the UTFI Board of Directors in 2018 and 2019.

 

The next meeting of the UT Foundation Board of Directors will take place on November 11-12, 2021 in Knoxville, TN.