Shumaker, Crabtree Give Shutdown Details

KNOXVILLE – The Tennessee General Assembly continues to work on a budget for the new fiscal year which started Monday, July 1. Since legislators could not agree on a budget by Monday, a partial shutdown of state government services took place. Sunday night, UT President John Shumaker and Provost Loren Crabtree announced contingency plans for operating the university during a shutdown.

Here is the text of an e-mail message sent by President Shumaker:

“Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,

“I have been in Nashville since Friday evening meeting with the Governor, legislators and government leaders regarding the current state budget situation. In an effort to continue to keep our campus communities informed, I would like to share the following information with you.

“As you know, the Tennessee General Assembly is continuing to work today,
Sunday, on revenue issues and a state budget for FY 2002-03. A bill has been adopted that permits services deemed essential to the state to continue for the next five days.

“I assure students that providing quality services for you has been and continues to be our main objective. I want to assure each faculty and staff member that you are each valued. Unfortunately, under the provisions of the essential services bill, we must limit our activities over the next week. Therefore, your respective Provost/Chancellor will post e-mails/messages regarding which employees are to report to work next week. Under the essential services bill, we will be able to continue with summer term classes that are currently in progress; however, we are unable to begin new summer term classes until further notice.

“Please check your campus web sites, listen to your campus radio stations, and watch your local news coverage regarding updates on reporting to work.

“I sincerely appreciate your cooperative spirit and resolve to remain focused on our mission during this budget crisis.”

Cordially,

John W. Shumaker
President, The University of Tennessee

Here is the text of an e-mail message sent by UT Vice President and Provost Loren Crabtree:

“It appears virtually certain that the state is heading toward a partial shutdown to last through July 5. The Tennessee General Assembly passed an “Essential Services” bill Sunday afternoon to avoid a complete shutdown.

“The President’s Cabinet will meet tonight at 9 p.m. EDT to make a final determination about University action, but we are presuming that we will be operating under an “Essential Services” bill next week. Accordingly, we have made these determinations about Knoxville campus operations:

“1. Unless there is further notice before midnight on June 30, ten-week classes will be in session next week (July 1-5) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Students and faculty will meet those classes as scheduled.

“2. The second five-week session slated to begin on July 5 will begin no earlier than July 8.

“3. Only essential personnel as identified by their supervisors should report to work. DEANS, DIRECTORS AND DEPARTMENT HEADS SHOULD NOTIFY THE ESSENTIAL PERSONNEL IMMEDIATELY.

“4. Academic departments providing instruction in ten-week courses should be open but should be staffed minimally: a department Head or designee, and one support staff. THE STAFFING PLANS FOR ESSENTIAL PERSONNEL SUBMITTED TO ME BY THE DEANS AND DIRECTORS HAVE BEEN APPROVED.

“5. Academic departments NOT providing instruction in ten-week courses should be closed unless they have been designated as providing an essential service.

“6. Faculty and staff who for this week are defined as “non-essential” may, if they choose, use their accumulated annual leave and personal days to ensure that their salaries continue. They also make take the days off without pay.

“7. All University Libraries will operate on a shortened day and with only essential personnel.

“8. Units such as the McClung Museum must be closed.

“9. Residence halls will remain open for continuing students and for students beginning second five-week classes.

“The General Assembly is still striving to avoid a shutdown. The University will track its work and make a final determination of our action late tonight. Please refer to the University web-page at http://www.utk.edu/ and listen to public radio WUOT, campus radio station WUTK, and other radio and television stations for updates tonight and early Monday morning. We will provide periodic updates thereafter.

“NOTE: This message does NOT apply to University Health Services leased employees.”