university of tennessee

Haslam names former state senator, NES chief to UT board

Gov. Bill Haslam speaks at a press conference at the state Capitol in Nashville on March 1, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Gov. Bill Haslam has made two more appointments to the reconstituted Board of Trustees of the University of Tennessee: former state Sen. Jamie Woodson (R-Knoxville) and Decosta Jenkins, the president and CEO of the Nashville Electric Service.

Here’s the full release:

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today appointed two additional members to the Board of Trustees of the University of Tennessee. Decosta Jenkins and Jamie Woodson join the board in advance of the meeting scheduled for November 2.

The appointments follow passage of the University of Tennessee Focusing On Campus and University Success (FOCUS) Act earlier this year. The legislation restructured the UT Board of Trustees to enhance governance of the UT system.

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Randy Boyd nominated as interim president of University of Tennessee

Randy Boyd speaks to reporters in Nashville on July 25, 2018. The former Republican gubernatorial candidate was nominated to serve as interim president of the Univeristy of Tennessee on Sept. 19, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Randy Boyd, an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican gubernatorial nomination this year, has been nominated as the interim president of the University of Tennessee system.

Boyd was Gov. Bill Haslam’s chief higher education adviser before being named economic and community development commissioner. He played key roles in the development of the Tennessee Promise free community college program and the governor’s Drive to 55 initiative to boost the state’s graduation rates.

The Board of Trustees will consider Boyd’s nomination in a Sept. 25. He would succeed President Joe DiePietro, who announced this week that he plans to retire from active service on Nov. 21. Boyd has agreed to forgo a salary while serving up to two years while an external search for a permanent replacement takes place.

Boyd, the founder of a Knoxville pet products company, poured at least $19.5 million of his own money into his gubernatorial bid. He ended up coming in second to Franklin businessman Bill Lee in the GOP primary.

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UT President DiPietro sets retirement date

A release from the University of Tennessee:

KNOXVILLE — University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro announced today that he will retire Feb. 14, 2019. 

He will step down from active service Nov. 21 to use his remaining vacation time.

DiPietro, UT’s 25th president, has led the University of Tennessee system since January 2011. He serves as the chief executive officer of UT and its campuses in Knoxville, Chattanooga and Martin, the Health Science Center in Memphis and the statewide Institute of Agriculture and the Institute of Public Service.

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Outgoing UT board approves $1.2B budget, names buildings, give DiPietro a bonus in final meeting

The outgoing University of Tennessee Board of Trustees held its final meeting Friday, approving a $1.2 billion budget for the coming year that includes $168,000 in bonuses for UT President Joe DiPietro and keeps tuition flat at two UT campuses for the coming year. The board also voted to name buildings for major donors to the university.

 

The News Sentinel reports DiPietro characterized the session as “bittersweet.” The current 26-member board will be downsized to 12 members effective July 1 under legislation approved earlier this year at  Gov. Bill Haslam’s request.

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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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Davenport out as UT-Knoxville chancellor

Beverly Davenport, the first female chancellor of the University of Tennessee flagship campus in Knoxville, is being demoted. The UT system announced Wednesday that Davenport will become a faculty member in the College of Communication and Information on July 1.

Davenport had been criticized by some for her handling of UT’s botched football coaching search, her rejection of Gov. Bill Haslam’s outsourcing initiatives, and (especially among lawmakers) for the ongoing student-led Sex Week activities on campus.

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