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Separations and Terminations

Authorization for Release of Final Paycheck

Effective March 1, 2018

Regular employees (faculty and staff) and graduate students who are leaving the University are required to have the “Authorization for Release of Final Paycheck” initiated and completed prior to or on their last actual day worked. The electronic exiting process involves several units to ensure its completion. The Authorization for Release of Final Paycheck ensures the employee has:

  1. Returned University property in his/her possession, including the ID card (faculty and staff only);
  2. Satisfied debts owed to the University; and
  3. Arranged for release of the final paycheck via direct deposit.

The terminating employee initiates the process by informing his/her department of the intent to leave the University. The employee should submit a letter of resignation, or, at the very minimum, written notice of the intended resignation date. The supervisor should direct the employee to visit the Employee Self Service (ESS) at to verify and update their personal information, including the home or forwarding address, and telephone number. The employee’s department will initiate the electronic process by visiting and follow the instructions provided below.

The training presentation is a good resource as well as instructions for each role: Initiator, Approver, and Exiting Employee.

Should you have any questions or need additional information, contact or Human Resources at 865-974-6642.


For questions regarding e-forms and to process a termination in IRIS, departments should contact Human Resources.

For more information regarding the types of terminations and termination categories, visit Policy HR0160 on Termination of Employment.

Exit Interviews (optional)

An exit interview is an invaluable source of information that the university can use to assess the quality of work life and identify opportunities for improving employee retention and engagement.

Human Resources uses an automated, web-based exit interview process. Employees who are leaving the university will be sent an email to their UT email address with a link to an exit interview questionnaire. The questionnaire will take less than 10 minutes to complete and all responses will be kept confidential. The survey will be accessible from a desktop or laptop computer, a tablet, or a mobile phone.

Employees may also elect to schedule an appointment with an Employee Relations Counselor to review and complete the document. Employees may complete a hard copy Exit Interview Questionnaire and turn into Human Resources at 105 Student Services Building. If you have questions about exit interviews or other employee retention strategies, contact Nate Taylor in Employee Relations at 865-974-6686.

Other Campus Contacts

Departments should direct employees to the contacts below if they have questions about insurance coverage, retirement benefits (for example, transferring a 401[k]), or how to donate unused sick leave to employees in need prior to leaving the university.

  • Payroll and Insurance: 865-974-5251
  • Benefits and Retirement: 865-974-8259
  • Donations for Sick Leave Transfer: 865-974-8299

Unemployment Benefits

UT participates in a joint federal and state program that provides benefits to unemployed workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. The state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development determines the eligibility for, and the amount of any unemployment benefits.

Departments should:

  • Send any time-sensitive requests for separation information received from the Department of Labor to HR at 105 Student Services Building for completion or by fax to 865-974-6066.
  • Direct employees to contact Human Resources at 865-974-6642 for general unemployment questions.
  • Be prepared to provide employees with the unemployment contact information listed below, if requested. HR may also assist in providing this information to exiting employees as needed.

For all other questions regarding the exit process, contact Human Resources at 865-974-6642.