UT Board of Trustees approve pay raises & new student conduct code | News
(WBIR-KNOXVILLE) The University of Tennessee's Board of Trustees met for their quarterly meeting on Friday.
The first item on the agenda was potential pay raises for the University President, Dr. Joe DiPietro, and its four chancellors.
The board unanimously approved the proposed pay raises. The UT President and the four Chancellors will all get at least an additional $30,000 a year for the next three years.
DiPietro will get an additional $186,301 on top of his $465,000 salary over the next three years.
Supporters say the raises are deserved, and retention payments are important for the university's growth.
Protesters that gathered outside the meeting believe these raises are coming at a bad time.
Many of the protesters are maintenance workers at risk of losing their jobs to outsourcing.
In August, Governor Bill Haslam called to look into privatizing public jobs across the state. This protest comes two days after state lawmakers visited UT on a 'fact-finding mission'. Their goal was to see if the state is running efficiently.
"We care about our jobs. And we hope that if anything they'll go back and have conversations, research the outsourcing, ask around, and see what Dr. DiPietro thinks about us," said UT maintenance worker, Ed McDaniel.
"I would like them to be less anxious. And for them to know, we know how valuable they are to the institution," said DiPietro.
DiPietro went on to say that he is confident in the governor, and that the university will continue to work with them and see how the numbers work out.
Also on the agenda, a roll-call vote to approve the new student code of conduct.
The board unanimously approved the code that had not been updated for the past 40 years.
In 2013 a task force was created to update the code of conduct. Chancellor Vince Carilli who was very involved in making the new code, says many changes are designed to educate students instead of making them "feel like a criminal".
The old code was compared to a "criminal trial", and the university is trying to get away from that.
Another big change is with the sexual assault policy. A new definition shifts responsibility from the potential victim to the initiator.
One of the biggest arguments against the new code is that there wasn't enough student involvement during the drafting process.
However, just today UT's student body president said there was plenty of student involvement. Those opposed showed up to the meeting to have their voices heard.
"The board of trustees is kind of a rubber stamp. Everything gets passed. That's why we're going to the legislature to keep on fighting this," said UT junior, Trip Underwood.
Friday's vote was just one step on the road towards full approval. Carilli says if everything goes according to plan, the code could go into effect in the Fall of 2016.
However, he does expect more opposition and says the spring of 2017 is a more realistic goal.