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Case Leaves EHS After 11 Years of Service

April Case, a longtime member of the Department of Environmental Health and Safety, has left UT for other opportunities to promote her professional career.

During her time at UT, Case progressed from managing environmental programs to leading a team that also included industrial and worker safety programs. Most recently she served as interim director after the former director, Mark Smith, retired in April 2018.

“Through her experiences and accomplishments, April covered a broad spectrum of technical environmental health and safety areas, which made her a valuable asset and resource for the team and the campus,” said new EHS director Sandra Prior. “It made her the perfect choice to be the interim director because she understood the needs of the different groups.”

Case’s last day at the university was January 7, 2019.


Environmental Health and Safety Welcomes New Director

Sandra Prior, new director of the UT Department of Environmental Health and Safety.

Sandra Prior, new director of the UT Department of Environmental Health and Safety.

Sandra Prior is the new director of UT’s Department of Environmental Health and Safety.

One of Prior’s priorities is to pinpoint ways the department can close communication gaps, be more efficient and broaden its service delivery across campus.

The department’s responsibilities include inspection of all UT research labs, identification of requirements for maintaining a building’s safety systems, hazardous waste management, fire safety, industrial and general safety oversight, environmental compliance, training and technical assistance for the vast array of UT’s safety programs.

The unit works with every academic and administrative unit on campus to ensure and promote the safety of students, employees, and visitors. Prior also serves as the safety officer for the UT Graduate School of Medicine, which has 41 labs.

As construction continues around campus, Prior envisions the Department of Environmental Health and Safety will be critical in that process.

“One of the things we’re trying to do is review drawings for new buildings or redesigns for what the buildings might need,” she said. “That way, we can anticipate the safety issues so they don’t get built into the buildings.”

Prior brings more than 35 years of experience in environmental health and safety program development and management with national, international, government, research, and academic organizations. Prior came to UT from the College of William and Mary where she served as director of environmental health and safety. Previously, she worked with the Department of Energy’s Jefferson Lab in Newport News, Virginia, and as an environmental science consultant with the U.S. Army.

She replaces Mark Smith who retired in the spring.

Prior supervises 13 employees in the Department of Environmental Health and Safety.

“They’re really a great team and are working hard,” she said. “I’m impressed with all they do given the limited resources they have and the limited tools of their trade.”

Of East Tennessee she said, “I like the camaraderie here. There is a strength of community in Knoxville and at the university.”

The Department of Environmental Health and Safety is housed under UT Public Safety. Public Safety also oversees the UT Police Department, the Office of Emergency Management and UT Clery Compliance.

Division of Biology Health, Safety, and Compliance Orientation

Tuesday, August 21, 2018, 2p-4p | Strong Hall. Rm. B1


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The University of Tennessee Health, Safety, and Compliance community would like to welcome you to the Division of Biology. We would like to invite you to an orientation session to introduce and orient new DOB graduate students and researchers to relevant programs in health, safety, and compliance. The event is intended to foster interpersonal and programmatic connections. That is, we want to let you know how we can help you in your research path, while providing clear tools and resources to achieve your health and safety responsibilities as new leaders in the UTK community. EHS will be providing refreshments, and we will have a table setup for additional materials and handouts.

  • Meet Your Supporting Departments and Groups
  • Learn About Specific Programs and Offices
  • Come join us to learn more!

Register here.

  • Registration is strongly recommended to estimate refreshments and supplies.
  • If you have difficulty registering please just email with the subject line DOB orientation.

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