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
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-
Published: Wed Dec 08, 1999 | Modified: Sat Aug 06, 2005 02:05 p.m.