2008 UT Board of Trustees Annual Meeting Transcript

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[ANNOUNCER] The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees passed a one-point-six-billion-dollar budget for next year and increased undergraduate tuition by six percent. Meeting in Knoxville Friday, the board also heard a report from UT President John Petersen about plans to absorb budget cuts from the state as it works to preserve its strongest programs and initiatives. The system-wide budget includes over 21-million dollars in reductions. Petersen told trustees that lean economic times call for leadership and hard choices instead of just making across-the-board budget cuts.

[PETERSEN] This is the time to be strategic, not to be arithmetic, not to just pass universal cuts across the board and everything, but to think about what are we about as an institution. We’re about the education, the quality education of our students, we’re about building a base through our research and through other aspects of what we do for economic development in the state, and we’re about quality of life.

[ANNOUNCER] UT Knoxville is dealing with an eleven-point-one million dollar cut, UT Chattanooga faces a reduction of two-point-six-million dollars, and UT Martin’s budget was cut by one-point-nine million dollars. A proposal to eliminate programs and departments at UT Knoxville, including the Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology, was delayed until the board can meet again in October. Petersen requested the delay so that faculty can be more involved in the process. In a news conference held after the meeting, he said more campus voices need to be heard.

[PETERSEN] The issue is if we’re going to go through this and we’re going to do this in the long term, we really need the entire campus communities in each of our campuses to get involved in the process, so that everyone is on the same page as we go through and we think through what the long-term ramifications are going to be.

[ANNOUNCER] Undergraduate tuition this fall will rise to fifty-four hundred dollars a year in Knoxville, forty-two hundred dollars in Chattanooga and forty-four hundred dollars in Martin. In other business, the board elected trustee Jim Murphy, a Nashville attorney, to serve a two-year term as vice-chair. Murphy takes over from Andrea Loughry, whose term ends July 1. The board meets again on October 23rd and 24th in Knoxville. Charles Primm reporting.