The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees met Thursday for their annual

meeting to approve many changes at the university.

As well as approving the budget, fee increases, and changes in admissions

requirements, the board also approved the transfer of the UT Medical

Center, Knoxville, to a non-profit organization and the creation of a

partnership between the university and Battelle Memorial Institute.

The vote transferred to University Health Systems Corporation. UT will

continue to own the hospital building and grounds, and lease the property

to UHS.

UHS will pay the university $25 million the first year and $2.5 million

each year afterwards for the leasing of the property and building. "We keep

the hospital, but we get rid of the liability of a hospital," William

Sansom, vice chair of the board, said.

The limited liability contract between UT and Battelle allows the

partnership to bid on the operation of the Oak Ridge National

Laboratories.

Joe Johnson made his annual report at the meeting for the last time as UT

president, expressing his hope for state support for higher education to

improve. Johnson said that even though the university is in a crisis when

it comes to funding, he takes pride in the many accomplishments of the

university over the last year.