Teri Baxter Honored with Top Faculty Award 

Teri Baxter, Williford Gragg Distinguished Professor of Law and Interim Associate Dean for Faculty Development at the University of Tennessee College of Law, received the L. R. Hesler Award for Excellence in Teaching and Service. The award, presented by Provost John Zomchick at the annual Academic Honors Banquet, is one of the highest honors given to faculty at the University of Tennessee and recognizes exceptional teaching and service. 

Baxter earned her BA and JD from Duke University. In 2013, she joined the College of Law faculty and teaches Constitutional Law, Torts, Family Law, Privacy Law and Secured Transactions. Her scholarship focuses on minors’ rights and the potential conflicts between parents’ fundamental rights and the government’s duty to protect  

“Being a Volunteer means choosing to work for the benefit of others. UT has empowered me to change the lives of students as I teach them how to be lawyers and how to use that knowledge to build and maintain a society that reflects their values,” Baxter said. “UT also connects me to amazing researchers and teachers from a variety of disciplines across campus who inform and enrich my work, and with the resources I need to produce scholarship that positively impacts the world.” 

“Teri is one of our finest teachers, most gifted scholars and hardest working university citizens,” says College of Law Dean Lonnie T.  Brown, Jr. “She is uniformly admired and respected by her colleagues and students, and there is simply no one more deserving of this significant recognition.” 

Recipients of the annual award are selected on criteria of character, respect of students and peers, professional dedication and leadership, genuine interest in the progress of students, ability to inspire and motivate students, pursuit of excellence in research and study and active involvement in worthy research, writings or campus civic activities. 

In 1982, the L. R. Hesler Award for Excellence in Teaching and Service was established to honor Dr. L. R. Hesler, an internationally respected scientist and former dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Recipients of the L. R. Hesler Award for Excellence in Teaching and Service have been outstanding professors whose genuine interest in students and contributions to UT Knoxville has exemplified the traits for which Hesler was best known.