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TO:   The Faculty Senate
UT Main Campus in Knoxville
FROM:   J. Wade Gilley
DATE:   April 30, 2001
SUBJECT:   Faculty Senate Resolutions on Environmental Policy, Professional Development and Living Wage

I appreciate your thoughtful resolutions on the above-named subjects. Let me respond to each of them.

Resolution on Environmental Policy

As you know, the Campus Planning Committee, chaired by Architecture Dean Marleen Davis, and composed of faculty, students and staff plus trustees and members of Knoxville Mayor Victor Ashe's staff, have recently issued a draft master plan for the UT main campus here in Knoxville. One of the overarching principles adopted by the planning committee is that UT become a campus that is evermore environmentally friendly. In the master plan, green space abounds and new buildings will be designed and constructed in compliance with all environmental requirements and mindful of the environmental impact of the facility.

Making sure that current facilities, many of which are 30+ years old, are environmentally responsible presents a more difficult challenge. But there are things that can be done. Recycling programs for paper and aluminum have been in existence for some time; we should all make the effort to participate in these programs. The administration bans smoking in all buildings except residence halls, and we are considering the establishment of smoke-free dormitories. The SGA is considering a proposal to spend one day per year to beautify the campus. I encourage them and hope to expand such a project to include the entire university community.

The Faculty Senate is a very powerful organization. If the Senate were to spearhead an initiative to conserve energy, for example, it would be very welcomed by the administration. The Senate resolution contains principles regarding conservation, waste reduction, procurement and design. I challenge this body to take the next step: develop a plan of action for consideration. I would especially appreciate your specific ideas on energy conservation and reduction of waste. Perhaps you could submit such an action plan at the end of the Fall 2001 semester.

Resolution on Faculty Professional Development

Your proposed policy is straightforward and contains many sound suggestions. Any such policy should pertain to UT faculty members on all campuses, perhaps with different procedures.

One of the major issues facing Dr. Loren Crabtree, our new vice president and provost, will be faculty recruitment, retention, development and reward. I will share your resolution with him immediately. I have also arranged for Dr. Crabtree to meet with the president and president-elect of the Senate prior to his official assumption of duties on July 1, 2001. At that time I am certain this issue as well as others important to the Senate will be raised and discussed.

Resolution on Privatization

The university will continue to attempt to meet staffing needs using current regular custodial and housekeeping personnel. If we cannot meet our needs in the summer, we will do so by contracting with an outside provider.

The following steps have been taken by University Housing to determine the staffing needs for the coming summer and to plan accordingly to meet those needs. Current housekeeping staff members were asked to indicate the number of hours that each would like to work during the coming summer. Meetings were held with each Housekeeping Supervisor to ask them to estimate the number of additional workers that would be needed to complete the summer tasks in each resident hall. Based on this information, housing management began to plan to provide for additional staff needs.

We have also attempted to secure temporary employees through the University's Human Resources Department. University Housing has already employed six temporary workers and two student workers through Human Resources. In addition, Human Resources is presently contacting fifteen more applicants to advise them that University Housing is prepared to offer them jobs immediately. Applications from ten additional persons are now being processed and are potential additions to the temporary staff pool. Families First, a local service agency, is assisting Human Resources in recruiting additional applicants.

Human Resources ran an employment advertisement in the Knoxville News-Sentinel on Sunday, April 22nd in an effort to recruit additional applicants. An advertisement will be placed in The Daily Beacon this week and flyers will be posted in residence halls soliciting student employees.

In general, housekeeping staff have been encouraged to voice issues and concerns through the Employee Relations Committee. We believe this is the appropriate vehicle through which their concerns can be addressed.

Thank you.

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