University of Tennessee

Columnist Victor Ashe sees some irony in Haslam hosting farewell dinner for outgoing UT trustees

Gov. and Mrs. Bill Haslam, along with Raja and Michelle Jubran, will host a farewell dinner at Cherokee Country Club for the outgoing UT board of trustees on June 21, according to Victor Ashe’s latest column. He sees some irony in the event.

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Ousted UT chancellor to get $1.33M in buyout deal

Press release from University of Tennessee

On June 5, the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees Audit and Compliance Committee will consider a recommendation by UT President Joe DiPietro to approve a separation agreement and payment of $1.33 million to former UT Knoxville Chancellor Beverly Davenport.

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UT endowment investing in Cayman Islands; details kept secret under law approved by legislature in 2017

The University of Tennessee’s endowment has pumped millions of dollars into private investment funds in recent years, including many chartered in the Cayman Islands, reports the Commercial Appeal, and UT officials university successfully lobbied the Tennessee legislature to pass a law last year that keeps the details of these and other “alternative investments” secret.

As stated in a note accompanying the article, it is part of an International Consortium of  Investigative Journalists project.

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UT board backs DiPietro in chancellor firing condemned by Faculty Senate

The outgoing University of Tennessee board of trustees passed a resolution Thursday giving a vote of full confidence to UT President Joe DiPietro, reports the Associated Press. The move was a direct response to the Faculty Senate’s censure of the president for ousting the flagship school’s first female chancellor.

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Fallout from DiPietro’s ‘very unpleasant decision’ to fire UT-Knoxville chancellor

On his first day as interim chancellor at The University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Wayne Davis endured an uncomfortable press conference alongside UT President Joe DiPietro, reports WBIR. The primary subject was Beverly Davenport, who was fired last week by DiPietro as UT Knoxville chancellor and given a faculty position instead.

The UT Faculty Senate, meanwhile, approved a resolution denouncing DiPietro for ditching Davenport as chancellor.

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Legislature approves seven Haslam UT board appointments, including two last-minute nominees

The Tennessee General Assembly Tuesday evening approved seven of Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposed appointments to the University of Tennessee’s new board of trustees, reports the Times Free Press. That includes two new nominees submitted by the governor and rushed through the confirmation process as replacements to nominees spurned in the Senate earlier.

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Senate panel spurns four more Haslam nominees to UT Board of Trustees

Four of Gov. Bill Haslam’s 10 nominees to a new University of Tennessee Board of Trustees were effectively rejected by the Senate Education Committee Thursday – a day after another, current board Vice Chairman Raja Jubran, withdrew amid criticism from legislators. That leaves just five of the governor’s 10 appointees up for approval on floor votes.

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Legislators grill Haslam UT board nominees over Sex Week and more; one withdraws

The University of Tennessee system’s current Board of Trustees vice chairman, Raja Jubran, on Wednesday withdrew as a nominee to serve on UT’s freshly re-configured board after it became clear the Knoxville businessman and friend of Gov. Bill Haslam faced significant hurdles in winning legislative confirmation, reports the Times Free Press. After four hours of grilling the governor’s nine other nominees, a House committee approved their confirmation while a Senate committee delayed a vote.

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Haslam’s overhaul of UT governance gets final legislative approval

The Senate signed off on House amendments to Gov. Bill Haslam’s overhaul of University of Tennessee’s governance system Wednesday, sending the bill to his desk for a signature that will be followed by submission of nominees for 12 new UT Board of Trustees members. They will replace the current 27-member board on July 1.

As submitted by the governor, the bill (SB2260) called for an 11-member board. One of the House changes was to add another member – a student who won’t have authority to vote on the panel. The bill also creates four new “advisory” boards – one each for UT campuses at Knoxville, Chattanooga, Martin and Memphis – and each of those will have seven members.

Final approval came on a 24-7 Senate vote, a bit closer than the 27-3 margin given in initial Senate approval before the House amendments. The House vote last week was 51-41.

Administration lobbyists told legislators that the governor intends to submit a slate of nominees promptly after signing the bill into law, hoping that they can win the required legislative confirmation prior to adjournment of the 2018 session. If not approved this session, the nominations must be confirmed within 90 days after the 2019 session convenes.

Note: Roll call votes on the bill are HERE.

House approves, 51-41, Haslam’s overhaul of UT board of trustees

The state House on Thursday approved Gov. Bill Haslam’s controversial plan to dismantle the existing University of Tennessee system’s board of trustees, reduce its size and appoint new members, reports the Times Free Press. The Senate approved the measure earlier but in a different form and the bill now returns to the Senate for approval of the House amendments.

The bill, known as the UT FOCUS Act (SB2260), narrowly passed on a 51-41 vote. (It passed the Senate 27-3 on Monday)

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