university of tennessee

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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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 taps short-lived Pilot CEO for UT board

John Compton. (Photo credit: Gov. Haslam’s office)

Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has tapped a former CEO of the family-owned Pilot Flying J truck stop chain to the reconstituted board of the University of Tennessee.

Haslam nominated John Compton and nine others as nominees to the UT board on Monday. Compton ran Pilot for less than six months after Jimmy Haslam, the governor’s brother, stepped aside following his 2012 purchase of the NFL’s Cleveland Browns.

Less than six months later, Jimmy Haslam decided to come back to run the company. Compton, a former president of PepsiCo Inc., was shifted into a consulting role. In April 2013, federal agents descended on Pilot’s Knoxville headquarters amid widespread fraud perpetrated by the company’s sales department.

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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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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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