Tennessee Alumnus

New Vice President Leading UT Institute for Public Service

Longtime UT Extension executive Herb Byrd III became UT system vice president for public service, leading the statewide Institute for Public Service, on Jan. 1. UT President Joe DiPietro selected Byrd for the role in December following an internal search process launched in August 2015.

Byrd served as interim vice president for public service during the search process, following the retirement of longtime IPS administrator Mary Jinks. Byrd previously was director of Extension Evaluation and Staff Development for the statewide UT Institute of Agriculture (UTIA).

Byrd (UTIA ’81, ’84; Knoxville ’05), has served UT in a variety of roles since joining the university in 1984, including as Monroe County agent with UT Extension and as McMinn County director for UT Adult Agriculture and Resource Development. He joined UT Extension’s state office in 1998, where his responsibilities included recruitment, personnel and civil rights, and service as Extension’s affirmative action and EEO officer.

Byrd has served on the staff of the UT Leadership Institute since 1999. He has a doctoral degree in educational administration and policy studies from UT Knoxville.

National Forensic Academy Graduates 40th Class

Dr. Bill Bass, center, shakes hands with TBI Special Agent Zac Burkhart, right, as
UT LEIC Program Manager Jeff Lindsey, left, looks on during the NFA graduation ceremony.

Since the UT Law Enforcement Innovation Center’s National Forensic Academy (NFA) was established in 2001, more than 700 crime-scene investigators have completed its training, and the most recent 27 graduates added their names and their uniform patches to the walls as they concluded Session XL (40) in February.

The 27 investigators came from around the country for 10 weeks of training with the prestigious academy. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation sent 12 agents through the training.

TBI Director Mark Gwyn said he has sent almost 80 agents to the NFA to-date and would like all TBI agents to complete the training.

“When I started my career, I was not equipped to handle my first crime scene. After I became familiar with the NFA, I wanted all of our agents to attend this training,” Gwyn told the graduates and their families. “Many times, you are the last hope for these victims and their families.”

CTAS Staff Providing Internal Controls Training for County Government Officials

Maintaining the trust of local government constituencies has been a major catalyst behind efforts to train county officials in establishing and maintaining internal controls over funds, property and other assets. This training initiated a major push by the UT Institute for Public Service’s County Technical Assistance Service (CTAS), in partnership with the state Comptroller’s Office, to provide sessions statewide for officials and their staffs on critical steps prior to the fiscal year’s end.

“Current law states that each county government office will have up-to-date internal controls by the end of the current fiscal year,” says CTAS Executive Director Robin Roberts. “Our staff has put in a great deal of time and effort to ensure that we have a grasp of the issues, and we have a process that we want to get in front of every county official affected by this statute.”

CTAS conducted more than 20 training sessions in the first quarter of 2016.