The UT Advocacy Council met for their annual winter meeting this past Saturday, February 8. Over 100 University of Tennessee advocates from across the state met to discuss a number of legislative issues facing the University and they could help.
The event featured two insightful keynote speakers who discussed the necessity of quality higher education for a prosperous Tennessee. “The reality of higher education in Tennessee is very simple, it’s about economic development,” House Education Chairman Harry Brooks (R-Knoxville) commented in a speech to advocates.
Representative Brooks also stressed to the crowd the importance of effective legislative advocacy. He told the gathered advocates that if they want “the University of Tennessee to have a strong place at the table, [than they must] advocate for that.” Brooks emphasized that “if [UT advocates] don’t fill the void, [then] someone else will.”
United States Congressman Jim Cooper (TN-5) also addressed the Council, underscoring the importance of the UT System. Calling higher education institutions like the University of Tennessee “dream factories,” Cooper encouraged advocates to continuously dream bigger for higher education. He expressed his belief that “education is a public good,” and his hopes “that all the people [can] band together [to] fund [it].”
The meeting also included a panel discussion on current UT legislative issues by the UT Office of Government Relations and Advocacy staff, and a panel on using grassroots networks to impact legislative outcomes.
We would like to thank the Advocacy Council members for their service, support, and commitment to higher education in Tennessee.
Did you attend the meeting? Consider sending our keynote speakers a thank you note:
Congressman Jim Cooper
605 Church St
Nashville, TN 37219
Representative Harry Brooks
301 6th Avenue North
Suite 117 War Memorial Building
Nashville, TN 37243