Among unprecedented decisions and changing UT policy, incoming UT President John Petersen attended his first annual board of trustees meeting June 23 and 24.
During Petersen's first speech as president he outlined his responsibilities of academic leadership into four main categories: state appropriations, philanthropic initiatives, research grants and tuition; giving trustees a taste of what can be expected in the years to come.
"My goal is always to take those first three and try to maximize those first three," Petersen said, referring to UT funding possibilities.
"We should try to keep it (tuition) as low as possible, but never so low that you jeopardize the quality of education that you as students can be able to expect at The University of Tennessee."
The board of trustees approved a 7.9 percent tuition hike proposed by the board's finance and administration committee.
Although, the actual increase for in-state undergraduates at UT-Knoxville will be 6.7 percent, Sylvia Davis, vice president for administration and finance, said. This increase amounts to $299 more a year for tuition.
In an attempt to prevent past presidential problems the board approved a policy statement on discretionary expenditures reporting for the president and chancellors.
The Higher Education Accountability Act of 2004 states the following: "It is the legislative intent that such policy require the report of discretionary expenditures which shall include, but not be limited to, unrestricted gifts, foundation funds, athletic funds, sponsorship funds, licenses and royalty funds ... chancellors or presidents shall not have the authority to grant themselves an exception to fiscal, spending or travel policies established by the board or by statute."
An extension on visitation hours on UTK housing has been approved by the Board of Trustees.
"After extensive research, members of SGA noticed that our visitation policy had not been changed in over a decade," SGA President Chaz Molder said.
Expanding hours would add 5 hours per week to B type housing and 44 hours per week to C type housing. As this matter requires an APA rule change, it will now be submitted to the appropriate State of Tennessee authorities. The target date for implementation is fall term 2005.
Molder also confronted the Clean Energy Initiative, which students voted on in early March and would provide funding for renewable energy on the UTK campus.
"I am very pleased to report that on Tuesday of this week I sat in an extremely productive meeting with Chancellor Crabtree along with members of SPEAK organization, student trustee Carol White and Vice Chancellor Timothy Rogers to discuss the matter (Clean Energy Initiative)," Molder said.
"The chancellor outlined steps and together we will make sure that the student referendum is heard."
After a successful 11 month role as interim president, Joseph E. Johnson will once again resumed his title as president emeritus. His duties, outlined within the "agreement for president emeritus services" will include: serving as the president's designee on NCAA and SEC certification and accreditation committees and teaching courses in leadership, public administration, or higher education, among other responsibilities.