Skip to Main Content
As a federally designated land-grant institution, the University of Tennessee (UT) system has a threefold mission of instruction, research and public service. Responsibility for this third function, in all areas except agriculture, falls to the UT Institute for Public Service (IPS).
IPS was created in 1971 by the UT Board of Trustees and ratified in 1974 by Tennessee Code Annotated (TCA 49-9-401) as part of the university "to provide continuing research and technical assistance to state and local government and industry and to meet more adequately the need for information and research in business and government."
IPS professionals provide on-site technical assistance and training, as well as regional conferences and programs on various issues. The institute has offices in Nashville, Chattanooga, Cookeville, Knoxville, Martin, Memphis, Johnson City and Jackson.
Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS)
Created in 1949 by TCA 67-6-103 to provide technical assistance for the incorporated cities of the state
Center for Industrial Services (CIS)
Created in 1963 by TCA 49-9-403 to provide assistance to existing business and industrial firms
County Technical Assistance Service (CTAS)
Created in 1973 by TCA 49-9-402 to provide technical assistance for the state’s 95 county governments
Law Enforcement Innovation Center (LEIC)
Established in 1997 as the premier criminal justice training and technical assistance program at the university.
Naifeh Center for Effective Leadership
The Naifeh Center for Effective Leadership was established by the Tennessee Legislature in 2009.
As a university-based technical assistance organization, IPS has several unique facets. Public and private officials acknowledge the professional competency of our staff. Officeholders willingly discuss issues with IPS staff because the university is an unbiased, non-regulatory agency. And finally, clients and customers have access, through IPS consultants, to higher education facilities and faculty.
This latter characteristic is perhaps the feature that most distinguishes IPS from other technical assistance providers. IPS consultants engage faculty of state colleges and universities in IPS activities and projects. The knowledge of these highly-trained academicians benefits Tennessee organizations, and faculty members use real-world experiences in classroom teaching situations. That dynamic benefits today's students, who are tomorrow's state leaders.