[A PDF version (108 K) of the original, formatted newsletter can be downloaded by clicking here.]

November 1999

Governance: A Symposium

An Administration View
by Robert A. Levy
Associate Senior Vice President,
University of Tennessee

Sometime in the early Sixties, when I was an undergraduate zealously trying to think of new ways to shake my college's tree by publishing student evaluations of faculty, a kindly professor took me aside and told me about the school's governance. It was, he said, shared by the faculty and the administration (and it was far too serious a responsibility to share with students, who shouldn't waste their time evaluating their instructors). I didn't know what the "administration" was, what "governance" was, or what he meant by its being "shared." I'm still not sure about the precise shape of some of these things, but the intervening thirty-five years have given me a dictionary, some experience, and--maybe--some insight.

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A Governing Board View
by Roger W. Dickson
Miller & Martin, Chattanooga
Member, UT Board of Trustees

When Bob Glenn asked me to contribute an article to the UTK Faculty Senate Newsletter on a Board Member's perspective of governance at the University of Tennessee, I had several reasons why I should not accept this invitation. However, after some thought, I accepted the invitation, because it would give me an opportunity to reflect upon my eight plus years of service on the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees. During those eight years, I have formed certain opinions on governance and on the role of higher education. The views and opinions expressed on these matters are mine alone, and I do not attempt to speak on behalf of all members of the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees.

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A Faculty View
by M. Mark Miller,
Immediate Past President,
UTK Faculty Senate

"We sure kicked some major administrator butt today!"
     If you hang out with the UTK Faculty Senate don't expect to hear a statement like that very often. In the first place most faculty members don't talk that way. More important, things just don't happen that way.
     Even when the faculty does have major impact--and sometimes it does--you won't hear Senate leadership bragging about it. If they did brag, they'd jeopardize their relationship with the administration, and that's the most important resource they have.
     The Senate and its leaders are most effective when they have the respect and trust of the administration. Senate leaders are assured of access to UTK administrators, but such access can be just an empty form without a sound relationship between faculty and administrators.

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Senate Officers

Senate Committee Reports

[As Mark Miller explains in his essay in this Newsletter, most of the work of the Faculty Senate is done through its committees. The responsibilities of the committees are described in the Senate's Bylaws. Information about committee chairs and members is available at The following reports explain the activities or interests of the Senate's committees this term.]
Athletics Committee
The Athletics Committee will be studying the tutoring program for student athletes, use of Incompletes to retain eligibility, use of late course withdrawals to retain eligibility, and Learning Disabled issues. Also, the Committee will develop a publicity program to inform faculty about opportunities on campus for improving physical fitness.

Budget Committee
The Budget Committee is preparing an analysis of UTK salary data by discipline and rank. Issues to be considered include current policies governing performance evaluations, comparisons of UTK salaries with the "market rate" and of the lowest salaries with a "cost of living" wage, and comparisons of UTK data with that from other institutions.

Bylaws Committee
The Bylaws Committee has prepared proposals to be debated at the November 15 Senate meeting for revising the Senate calendar to avoid conflicts other important events, and for planning an annual Senate agenda. Those proposals are described in the Committee report.

Educational Policy Committee
The Educational Policy Committee regularly reviews and sends to the Senate for approval curricular and policy changes coming through the Graduate and Undergraduate Councils. This year, the EPC will also discuss policy issues related to the work being conducted by the ad hoc committee on electronic and technologically-enhanced teaching and delivery.

Executive Committee
The Executive Committee is the principal policy-making body of the Senate. The Committee has established ad hoc committees to make recommendations to the Senate concerning electronic and technologically-enhanced teaching and the awarding of honorary degrees, and has reconstituted the committee on evaluation of administrators. Minutes of Executive Committee meetings are available at

Faculty Affairs Committee
The Faculty Affairs Committee provides mediation or grievance hearings for faculty involved in employment disputes. Also, the Faculty Affairs Committee has prepared a commentary on the draft of the Faculty Evaluation Manual, and will be examining the varied meanings of "faculty" in UTK personnel practices.

Faculty and Staff Benefits Committee
The Faculty/Staff Benefits committee is working on the following items: long term care; UT's full-time representation on the State Insurance Committee; cashability of retirement funds; appeals assistance for denied insurance claims; and the salary compression/inversion problem at the full professor rank.

International Education Committee
The International Education Committee screens student applicants for Fulbright awards and interviews and mentors Rhodes Scholarship applicants. This term the Committee is developing a program to improve student awareness of international education opportunities and of campus services to assist with applications and interviews. Also, the Committee has prepared a set of goals and objectives for international education which has been included in the Chancellor's Five-Year Plan for the campus.

Legislative Committee
The Legislative Committee has established ongoing communications with the College Democrats, College Republicans, and the Student Government Association, and has participated actively this term in lobbying efforts. The Committee is also meeting with Frank Cagle (Managing Editor of the Knoxville News-Sentinel), Representative Joe Armstrong (D-Knoxville), and Congressman Jimmy Duncan.

Nominating Committee
The function of the Nominating Committee is to nominate two candidates for the office of President-Elect of the Senate. The committee solicits nominations from the University faculty at large and from the list of nominees received selects two candidates. The committee then prepares a ballot that includes biographical information on the candidates. Faculty Senate members then vote to determine the President-Elect for the coming year. The committee is meeting this term to make preparations for the election.

Professional Development Committee
The Professional Development Committee will be meeting to consider the definition of "professional development," the desirability of compiling a booklet or webpage on internal professional development resources, and other projects.

Research Council
The Research Council recommends SARIF (Scholarly Activities and Research Incentive Funds) awards, EPPE grants (funding small exhibition, performance, and publication grants to faculty), and Summer Research Assistantships. It also makes recommendations for renewal of Research Centers and for Research and Creative Activities Awards. The work of the Research Council is done through a structure of 3 standing committees, a special projects committee (which is completing a proposal for a faculty workstation program), and 4 review panels. The RC webpage is at:

Student Affairs Committee
The Student Affairs Committee is working with various student issues including access to mental health services, confidentiality of student discipline records, and extra-section funding. Also, the Committee is supporting SGA activities in freshman orientation to campus life and in voter registration and lobbying.

Teaching Council
The Teaching Council is completing its review of the Campus Teaching Evaluation Program (CTEP) and will soon submit recommendations regarding CTEP for Senate consideration. The Council has also suggested revisions of the Faculty Evaluation Manual and will recommend faculty and instructors to receive Chancellor's Awards for Teaching and Advising in the spring.

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