Resolution Proponents Suspend Rules for Immediate Hearing

Category: State Issues

During last night’s Senate session, lawmakers suspended the rules in order to add Senate Joint Resolution 626 to Wednesday’s Senate Education Committee calendar.  The committee meets at 3:30 pm CST and can be viewed live here.

The measure, filed last week by Sen. Mike Bell (R-Riceville) and co-sponsored by Senate Education Chair Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville), is aimed at resolving concerns over student fee monies being utilized for controversial student programming such as “Sex Week” at UTK.

The resolution directs the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees to implement changes to the current assessment and allocation of student activity fees within the UT System.

Those directed changes include a narrowly tailored option for fee-payers to “opt in” to the portion of the fee allocated to student organizations for student programming. The resolution also directs the Board and UT administrators to publish a list of all student programs funded by the fee, and to consider ways in which transparency and accountability might be improved in the current fee allocation process.

One item in the resolution is specific to the Knoxville campus, directing the UT Board of Trustees to work with UT administrators in order to restructure the University Program and Services Fee Board (UPSF) to ensure a majority of non-student representation.

Under the resolution, the UT President will be required to report back to the Education Committee Chairs by January 1, 2015, on actions taken as a result of the resolution.

It is expected that this resolution will take the place of two other bills filed earlier this session (SB1608, SB2493). By voicing support of this measure, the University intends it to be the mechanism used to address student activity fee concerns.

Check back soon for more information as this issue develops.

Tags: , ,