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Frequently Asked Questions – Exterior Access Changes

As stated in the fall 2023 by Interim Vice Chancellor Allen Bolton, the safety and security of our campus community are critical.

We are currently working to address the guidance from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) and limit building entry while also adding the ability to better secure campus buildings during non-business hours.

Our staff in cooperation with Public Safety is in the process of restricting access to exterior entry doors, by removing the core lock, and adding card readers to some doors.

We will continue to communicate with building managers in advance of any action taken in a particular building so they can help share information. That information will be shared with the building occupants before changes are made, to limit the disruption.

What happens next:

  • Under no circumstances may exterior doors be propped open.
  • Propping entry doors will trigger an alarm.
  • Existing keys will still work on interior doors.
  • Keys will no longer be issued for exterior doors in buildings with electronic entry.
  • Building managers may need to adjust the electronic locking and unlocking schedule for buildings with new access patterns, as the access control changes are made.
  • During this process, key-only locks will remain locked at all times and be available for exit only.

Thank you all for your cooperation and understanding as we work toward a more secure campus environment, with the physical security upgrades to our buildings.

Below are commonly asked questions regarding the upcoming building access changeover process for exterior doors.

Exterior Lock Changes 2024

A: All external doors will be rekeyed. Existing external keys will no longer work and need to be returned to Facilities Services. The electronically controlled external doors will be programmed for lock/unlock times based on request by Building Managers.
A. Those personnel with a need to access buildings outside of those scheduled hours should go through the “Access Management” request page and request that access. Once approved it will allow electronic card access via VolCard after-hours. Internal and External electronically controlled doors should not be used in connection with mechanical locks. Internal and External electronically controlled doors should not be used in connection with mechanical locks.
A. Please report this issue to Facilities Services as soon as possible.
A. Electronic access control is based on permissions provided through the campus “Access Management” system. which can be found at this link. If access is not granted to an area where it is immediately needed, please call UTPD Dispatch at 865-974-3114 so they can assist. These permissions may unknowingly change and need to be re-submitted for various reasons such as change in semester, student status, or class schedule, or cost center changes for employees.
A. No, under no circumstances may doors be propped open. Propping electronic entry doors will trigger an alarm.
A. Building electronic access systems are backed up by battery/generator, depending on the building. However, they are failsafe, so while individuals will not be able to access the building, they will still be able to exit should the batteries lose power.
A. If your key ONLY fits the exterior door, you will need to turn that in as soon as possible to the Key Shop. If your key works on interior doors as well, you can still use it for internal access.

For our Staff, Please navigate to our Hub for internal information.