University of Tennessee

Senate signs off on Haslam restructuring of UT Board of Trustees, 27-3

The state Senate approved 27-3 Tennessee Monday evening Gov. Bill Haslam’s legislation to restructure  the University of Tennessee board of trustees, slashing the main governing panel from 27 to 11 members and creating “advisory” boards for each of the system’s four campuses. A few critics noted that there will now be 39 appointees on five boards overseeing UT operations under the “FOCUS Act” and questioned whether that is actual streamlining.

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UT paying $2.5M to settle with former athletic director

The University of Tennessee will pay $2.5 million to its former athletic director, John Currie, under a settlement agreement announced Thursday, reports the News Sentinel. His employment with the university officially ended at 6 p.m. Thursday. He was suspended in December.

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House committee revises, then approves Haslam bill shrinking UT Board of Trustees

A state House committee approved today Gov. Bill Haslam’s bill to shrink the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees after revisions the administration agreed to accept after a round of recent criticism. A key alteration is to add a non-voting student member to the panel.

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UT diversity squabble tied to Haslam’s bill shrinking UT Board of Trustees

Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposal to shrink the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees came under renewed criticism Tuesday in a legislative hearing with some lawmakers joined by  student and faculty representatives and a past chairman of the national UT Alumni Association in questioning the measure, reports the Times Free Press. The administration has offered some amendments, but the bill is still stuck in committees without a vote being taken.

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Rally at UT brings 45 white nationalists, 250 protesters, 200 law enforcement officers

About 45 white nationalists showed up for a Saturday rally on the University of Tennessee Knoxville campus that was led by Matthew Heimbach, leader of a group known as Traditionalist Worker Party, reports the News Sentinel. So did 250 people protesting white nationalists and about 200 law enforcement officers from four different agencies.

There were no arrests, though six people were issued tickets for obstructing a highway during the protests, according to University of Tennessee Police Chief Troy Lane.

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Of six gubernatorial candidates, only Harwell supports removing governor from UT board

House Speaker Beth Harwell supports Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposal to reduce the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees from 26 to 11 members – including elimination of the governor as a board member, according to a Victor Ashe column. But  five other major candidates for governor want to have a seat on the board if elected.

Randy Boyd, Craig Fitzhugh, Bill Lee and Diane Black all said they thought the governor should be a board member and they would actively attend meetings as governor. Karl Dean said he would actively attend meetings but did not respond to the question of whether the law should be amended to remove the governor.

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Haslam unveils legislation on juvenile justice reform, UT board downsizing

Press release from the governor’s office

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced his legislative agenda for the 2018 session, continuing his focus on leading the nation in jobs, education, and efficient and effective government.

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UT president DiPietro readying for retirement move to Illinois

Though it hasn’t been officially announced, University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro will soon be retiring, according to a Victor Ashe column. His contract doesn’t expire until June of 2019, but the former Knoxville mayor says he will “probably” leave this fall.

It is a badly kept secret on campus as Deborah DiPietro, his wife, has used Facebook extensively for the past few weeks outlining her packing up their Knoxville home on Old Kent Drive.

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Comptroller: UT sports staff violated policies in taking freebie golfing trips

Press release from state comptroller’s office

An investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office has revealed a number of issues related to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Sports Surface Management. These issues include trips and entertainment that were provided to UT Athletics staff by a department vendor and prospective vendor.

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Fundraising effort seeks to finance UT Knoxville LGBT center without state money

An effort called “Vol Means All” is underway to fully fund operations at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville’s LGBT student center without government support, according to Out and About in Nashville. The first official fundraiser will be Feb. 1 in Nashville with UT-Knoxville Chancellor Beverly Davenport on hand.

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