University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro speaks about tuition and outsourcing after the annual Board of Trustees meeting at UT Knoxville’s campus on Thursday, June 22, 2017.
A proposal to overhaul the University of Tennessee board of trustees passed its first hurdle in a House subcommittee despite some concerns.
The UT FOCUS Act, proposed by Gov. Bill Haslam, seeks to make considerable changes to the trustee board, most notably by pairing down its membership from 27 to 11. It will also place seven-member advisory boards on individual system campuses.
The proposal is similar to the 2016 FOCUS Act that shifted power away from the Tennessee Board of Regents and created individual boards of trustees for the six state universities outside the UT system.
The UT bill is sponsored by Rep. David Hawk, R-Greeneville, and Sen. Mark Norris, R-Collierville.
The bill, discussed for about an hour, drew concern from UT student, faculty and alumni groups.
Student and faculty groups testifying before the subcommittee expressed concerns about the size of the proposed board and its makeup.They said the size of the full board could be too small and there isn’t enough representation.
Despite the subcommittee approving the matter, members indicated they want the House Education Committee to tackle talks of possible revisions.
Reach Jason Gonzales at [email protected] and on Twitter @ByJasonGonzales.
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