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.

The new UT board will have 11 voting members, replacing the current 23-member board. The commissioner of agriculture gets one seat by virtue of holding the office. Tuesday’s action means the new board will have eight legislature-approved members, including the agriculture commissioner, in place when it officially takes over on July 1.

Earlier this month, the governor saw four of his original ten nominees to the newly fashioned UT system board shunned by fellow Republicans in the Senate. A fifth withdrew his nomination.


…But early Tuesday morning lawmakers began rushing through two new nominees submitted by Haslam: Amy E. Miles of Knoxville, a former CEO of Regal Entertainment and a UT-Knoxville graduate (HJR795), and Lang Wiseman of Arlington, a founding partner of the Wiseman Bray law firm, a former counsel to the U.S. Senate Governmental Affairs Committee and a one-time Shelby County Republican Party chairman (SJR976).

By the end of the day, the two new nominees were confirmed along with the five remaining original nominees.

They are former PepsiCo President John Compton (HJR1083); former Lady Vol and ESPN analyst Kara Lawson (HJR1087); River City Co. President and CEO Kim White (HJR1092); AutoZone CEO William Rhodes III (HJR1090); and former Tyson Foods CEO Donnie Smith (HJR1091).

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