University of Tennessee

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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Haslam: No interest in becoming UT president, just in downsizing board

While pitching his plans for downsizing the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees to Knox County legislators, Gov. Bill Haslam declared he has no interest in becoming UT president after leaving office next year, reports Victor Ashe in his weekly column.

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Haslam eyes downsizing UT board, changing leader selection process

Gov. Bill Haslam is considering reducing the number University of Tennessee Board of Trustees, reports Nashville Ledger. Lt. Gov. Randy McNally  says the governor is also eyeing changes in the process for selecting a new UT president or the chancellors who head individual UT campuses.

Haslam spokeswoman Jennifer Donnals declined to address specifics Friday but said “the governor is having conversations about ways to help the UT Board of Trustees operate more efficiently and effectively.”

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UT puts cap on salaries paid administrators who shift to teaching

The University of Tennessee is putting new limits on “retreat salaries,” payments to former administrators when they take a teaching job after retirement, reports the News Sentinel.

Under the old policy, former administrators could be paid 75 percent of their previous salary after moving to faculty positions – in some cases far more than any other professor in an academic department. Under the new policy, former administrators will be limited to a maximum of 125 percent of salary paid to top professor in a department  — except in special cases.

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Former UT football operations director pleads guilty to official misconduct charge

The former director of football operations for the University of Tennessee has pleaded guilty to a charge of official misconduct for faking receipts to account for his expenditure of cash advances, reports the News Sentinel. Chris Spognardi, 32, pleaded guilty Thursday before Knox County Criminal Court Judge Scott Green.

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Politicians cheer appointment of Fulmer as UT athletic director

Tennessee politicians are generally praising the appointment of former head football coach Phil Fulmer as athletics director at the University of Tennessee, reports the News Sentinel, but some are also voicing concerns about the future of the state’s flagship campus in Knoxville.

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UT to accept ACT test scores despite administrative foul-up

Press release from Lt. Gov. Randy McNally

Lt. Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) today announced the University of Tennessee has agreed to accept scores from the October 17 mis-administered ACT tests at Bearden High School and Alvin C. York Institute in Jamestown. The University’s decision was delivered to Lt. Governor McNally by University of Tennessee Interim Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor John Zomchick.  Continue reading