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
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
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
- 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
- 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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