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Minutes of Faculty Senate Legislative Committee Meeting
Sept. 16, 2002

Present: Mark Harmon, Barbara Dewey, Marianne Custer, David Bemis, Bill Lyons, Candace White (chair), and student (ex-officio) members Elizabeth Clement, Ben Sanders, and Sam Morton. Absent: Ken Kimble (UTSI), Tom Ballard (ex-officio)

White shared notes from a meeting with Tom Ballard who was out of town and could not attend the meeting. The key points were that the August primaries showed that voters aren't enraged and therefore the November election will not bring much change. Meaningful tax reform is dead for four years, but that we should think strategically toward future elections, meanwhile taking the stance that that "the glass is half full" and that education is an investment, not a cost.

Student members discussed Voter Awareness Week (Sept. 16-20) and informed the committee about the voter registration drive and plans to bus students to the polls on election day in November. Custer noted that we should encourage new faculty, as well as new students, to vote and that we could provide voter information at New Faculty Orientations.

Clement reported that she had talk to Pat Crippins, the Election Commissioner, about getting an Early Voting Site in the UC. It is too late to do it by November, but SGA will work to have it in place by next year. The committee discussed that while next year's elections will not be crucial to legislative delegation turn-over, we should think strategically about the up-coming state senate election year after next, and work to have a plan in place by that time. Dewey noted that an early voting site would benefit staff as well as students.

The committee was reminded about the debate between Owen and Birchett on Oct. 8 and Bredesen and an empty podium on Oct. 15.

White reported that questions about the Little Hatch Act have been submitted to Alice Woody for an article in the next Faculty Senate Newsletter. The committee reviewed the questions, and there was discussion about the Little Hatch Act.

The final discussion concerned the Charge or the Committee. It was decided that we need to communicate with not only the Tenn. State Legislature, but with Congress and other governmental entities as well. Dewey made a motion that the name of the committee be changed to the Faculty Senate Government Relations Committee. Bemis and Lyons simultaneously seconded the motion. The committee unanimously voted for the name change. White called for acclamation for the name change from the ex-officio members, who were in unanimous agreement for the change. White will present the vote as a change to the bylaws for a reading at the next Faculty Senate Meeting.

The committee agreed on the following charge for the 2002-2003 year.

  • Present information and assessments of campus needs from a faculty viewpoint to government entities at the local, state, and nations levels, especially through communication with the Knox County delegations.
  • Invite legislators and candidates to campus for forums, informal informational meetings, and debates.
  • Work with administrators, staff, alumni, students, and university supporters to communicate campus priorities.
  • Coordinate our efforts with the State AAUP Legislative Committee and the UTK AAUP chapter.
  • Encourage the formation of a Political Action Committee to provide an avenue of support for higher education in Tennessee.




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