At the end of the first semester under new leadership - be it UT president

Wade Gilley or SGA president Will Carver, UT has seen its share of changes

and will continue to see more. And as the semester rolls to an end, we

reflect on how effective the newbies have been at accomplishing their goals

and how confident we are that they can carry UT into a new


President J. Wade Gilley

When Gilley announced a hiring freeze on non-academic positions during the

Board of Trustees meeting in October because of budget concerns, many

campus departments planned to micro-manage their way through the

university's money woes.

The man in charge had set the tone for his administration.

When Gilley first froze all jobs in October, we became wary that positions

like the Dean of Students and several Physical Plant jobs needed to be

filled even with the budget crisis. Gilley, however, assured us positions

that needed to be filled would be, after he evaluated a request for filling

each position and weighed how necessary each job was to UT.

Since then, administrators have freed up 50 spots and Gilley is still

working to streamline administration and ensure legislators that he will

work to reallocate resources if they will work to find UT funding.

Gilley's attitude toward the mammoth duty he has been given is positive and

he understands what a pivotal role he holds for UT's history.

Our reflections of the man who came to UT with a mission are good. We have

seen Gilley spearhead a campaign to clean up UT's administrative fat, lead

a statewide campaign to find more funding for UT and work to find more

professors and more classrooms for students.

Gilley is personable, not your expected system chief. He followed in the

footsteps of former President Joe Johnson by being very approachable to

students and faculty just three months into his job.

And while some worry about how effective Gilley will be in finally getting

UT the money it needs, we think that anyone in his position would have a

tough time getting the job done.

But Gilley looks prepared for the task.

He is straightforward, and doesn't care to tell his own administrators that

they are weighing down the boat. He doesn't care to tell state legislators

that they've neglected the UT system. And he doesn't mind telling faculty

members to buck up and work hard until he can find them the money they


Gilley has the responsibility of being the students' last hope for


We are hopeful that we have put that responsibility into capable


Semester grade: B+

SGA President Will Carver

Decades from today, Carver will remember his senior year more in Nashville

lobbying for funding than in Knoxville finishing a paper.

And decades from today, UT will remember Carver as one of its finest

student leaders.

It's unlikely that Carver imagined when he ran for office in the spring

that he would spend much of his fall semester in Nashville. But he went

anyway, and has proven to us that he is a dedicated representative of


Compared to the other SGA presidents we've had the chance to observe,

Carver is far and away the most effective leader we've seen.

He is open to student needs and complaints and dedicated to seeing that

those needs are met. He is a leader. Whether it calls for Carver to stand

up against state senators or vice chancellors, Carver thinks of students


Our only qualm with Carver is his affiliation with the secret Scarabbean

Society. As an elected official, he should not meet with other elected

officials in secret.

Still, we can find few reasons to doubt Carver's motives as SGA president.

He comes to work early, stays late, and doesn't get annoyed when the

Beacon calls him at home every Sunday. He even jokes that Mark

Alexander, director of the University Center, may soon ask for rent after

Carver's long hours.

Carver and his SGA staff have set the tone in Nashville and on campus that

they will not stop fighting for funding, no matter how many legislators or

pundits close the door to their pleas.

He and his staff continue to knock on doors, send e-mails and call

legislators to bring funding to UT. Students should be proud Carver is in

his position as such a critical time in UT's history.

With another semester to go, he just might be able to work the miracle this

campus will need to prosper next millennium.

Semester grade: A-