[The following resolution was approved by the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate on August 19, 2003.]

Resolution concerning Presidential Searches

Whereas current bylaws of the UT Board of Trustees do not allow for significant input by faculty in the selection of the UT President, therefore

Be it resolved that the university is better served by a single, public search process for the UT President; and

Be it resolved that the bylaws of the UT Board of Trustees be amended to allow the faculty senates for the constituent UT campuses to constitute a procedure for the selection of faculty voting members on presidential search committees; and

Be it resolved that The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Faculty Senate Executive Committee call on Phil Bredesen, Governor of Tennessee and the Chairman of the UT Board of Trustees, to constitute a task force comprising trustees, academic administrators and faculty to review the UT Board of Trustees bylaws to make recommendations for reforming both the search procedures and selection criteria for the election of future UT Presidents; and

Be it further resolved that this process should be undertaken before a search for the next President of the University of Tennessee is conducted.

We affirm this resolution with the knowledge that the Board of Trustees is legally responsible for the final choice of a president for the University of Tennessee. However, faculty have an explicit role in the selection and evaluation of all academic administrators according to the Faculty Handbook; have particular competence to judge the academic qualifications of candidates; have career commitments to their institutions that often exceed by decades the term of service of a president; and are the principal custodians of the institution's history, traditions, mission, and standards. Significant faculty involvement in the selection process promotes consensus regarding the institution's goals and challenges; selection of a president who does not enjoy strong faculty support would present a burden to the administrator and an obstacle to the progress of the University.

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