KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Thursday morning, University of Tennessee System President Randy Boyd will deliver his annual State of the University address. This will be President Boyd’s fifth State of the University address since joining the UT System in 2018.

Boyd spoke with WATE 6 On Your Side News ahead of the speech. He said he will outline the university’s plans for 2023 and highlight how the system can make a positive impact statewide on the biggest issues.

“I want to ask the people of Tennessee and our alumni to think about the biggest problems facing the state of Tennessee and which problems they wish the University of Tennessee would tackle?” Boyd said.

Boyd said his goal is for the experts at UT to be involved in tackling those “grand challenges” that would otherwise take decades to solve in the state. Some of the challenges he said he feels everyone could agree on include improvements in K through 12 education, the opioid crisis, and improvements that can be made in rural communities. He said he believed the minds at UT can get the state ahead and provide solutions.

He also said while Thursday’s address will be directed to all UT campuses across the volunteer state, he did discuss the expansion of the Knoxville campus with WATE.

“Everybody across the country wants to come to the University of Tennessee Knoxville, which is great being an alumni and being a member of this community, it’s great having so many people want to come to my alma mater and our community, but it also is a challenge,” said Boyd. “We want to make sure while we’re growing we’re still giving a great quality experience to all of our students.”

He also shed some light on how the University hopes to continue the success experienced in 2022 into 2023.

“Our faculty, and our staff, our leaders, they’re all focused on making this the greatest decade in the history of the University of Tennessee,” he said. “We wake up every day thinking about big ideas, innovative ideas in which we can continue to advance our mission forward.”

The State of the University Address will be held virtually, with the webcast starting at 10 a.m. Eastern Time.