UT Knoxville Advisory Board Votes to Increase Tuition, Asks for Public Guidance

University of Tennessee, Knoxville Students

The University of Tennessee – Knoxville’s Campus Advisory Board has voted to increase tuition by 2 percent for for in-state students and 4 percent for out-of-state students, the school announced.

“A combination of enrollment growth and state support has allowed us to keep tuition flat for five of the last six years. The costs for delivering high-quality academic programs, however, have continued to rise in that time,” said Interim Senior Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Allen Bolton. “We have worked hard to keep tuition increases as small as possible while still ensuring we can give students the Volunteer experience they expect.”

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University of Tennessee Launches Investigation After Complaint Filed by Man Arrested During Anti-Israel Protest

Yassin Terou

The University of Tennessee Police Department (UTPD) confirmed on Tuesday that it is investigating a complaint filed by one of the 11 pro-Palestine protestors arrested on the university’s campus on May 15 during an anti-Israel demonstration.

Yassin Terou confirmed he filed the complaint in a post to the social media platform X, where he appeared to claim his efforts are aimed at changing how UTPD treat protestors.

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Clint Brewer Says Tennessee’s Lawsuit Against the NCAA ‘Isn’t Just About College Sports’

UT Football

All-star panelist Clint Brewer joined Tuesday’s edition of The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy where he offered his thoughts on Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti’s antitrust lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Skrmetti joined Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares in filing the lawsuit against the NCAA last week, arguing the organization violates federal antitrust laws with its “anticompetitive restrictions on the ability of current and future student-athletes to benefit from their name, image, and likeness (NIL).”

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NCAA Failed to Establish ‘Clear Guidance and Rules’ Prior to New Allegations Against University of Tennessee, Warns State Rep. Jason Zachary

UT Football

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) reportedly plans to bring a slew of new Name, Image, Likeness (NIL) complaints against the University of Tennessee (UT), prompting a fiery response from Chancellor Donde Plowman in a Tuesday letter to the NCAA. Plowman received the support of Tennessee State Representative Jason Zachary (R-Knoxville), who argued the NCAA failed to create “clear guidance and rules” for institutions to follow.

Zachary wrote in a post to X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that the Tennessee General Assembly “worked with institutions across our state to craft strong NIL institution that established the framework” in the state, but the NCAA’s “moving target” made work “very challenging” for lawmakers.

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Vanderbilt University Has One Administrator for Every Two Students: Analysis

Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University employs more than one full-time administrator for every two students, a College Fix analysis found.

During the 2021-22 academic year, the most recent for which data are available, the private Nashville university employed 3,516 full-time administrators and support staff, according to information the school filed with the federal Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.

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University of Tennessee Quietly Renaming its Division of Diversity and Engagement to Dodge State Law

The University of Tennessee (UT) System is reportedly rebranding its Division of Diversity and Engagement in order to “better reflect the division’s mission, as well as move away from some potentially divisive terminology,” according to The Daily Beacon.

The division’s mission, according to its website, is to “actively support, foster and enhance environments of inclusion where the diversity of all faculty, staff, and students are connected to fully engage in fair, respectful, and equitable campus experiences throughout the University of Tennessee community.”

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Pro-Palestine, Anti-Israel Rally to Be Held at University of Tennessee Knoxville Next Week

A pro-Palestine, anti-Israel rally will occur on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s (UTK) campus next week, according to the group Students for Justice in Palestine at UTK.

On Instagram, the group announced its plans to hold an art installation and rally for Palestine at the Pedestrian Walkway in the heart of the UT Knoxville campus on December 1 at 11:00 a.m.

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Cost of Thanksgiving Meal Up 14 Percent, Study Finds

Turkey Dinner with all the Trimmings

According to a University of Tennessee (UT) study, American families will be spending more on this year’s Thanksgiving dinner. 

A team from the university, led by Professor and Consumer Economics Specialist Ann Berry, surveyed grocery store pricing for Thanksgiving staples between November 1 to November 8, “including turkey and stuffing, cranberry sauce, ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, English pea salad, deviled eggs, pumpkin pie with whipped cream and rolls.”

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University of Tennessee Admits Professor Made Antisemitic Comments in Class

The University of Tennessee (UT) admitted in a statement on Wednesday night that one of its professors made antisemitic comments during a classroom lecture, but said it could not go into details out of respect for the students’ privacy.

In a statement, UT Director of News and Information Tyra Hagg distributed to the media late Wednesday, the university claimed it “has addressed concerns about a class lecture that included several comments” which fall under the “working definition of antisemitism developed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance” in 2016.

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Tennessee Students Trained to Obtain Unauthorized Pills from India for Illegal ‘Self-Managed’ Abortions

University of Tennessee student group hosted an “Abortion Pill Training ‘’ event on Oct. 19, educating students on how to discreetly maintain access to abortions in defiance of statewide laws that prohibit this practice.

The University of Tennessee’s Women’s Coordinating Council, which runs as a registered student organization at the university, invited Maxine Carwile to lead a training course through “Self-Managed Abortion; Safe and Supported” (SASS), a pro-abortion non-profit organization.

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University of Tennessee System Guarantees Admission for Certain In-State Students

At a special meeting of the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees at Thursday night, the state university system adopted a new policy that will guarantee college admission to certain in-state applicants. 

Effective immediately, Tennessee high schoolers applying to a University of Tennessee school with the following credentials will automatically be accepted to at least one school in the state university system:

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University of Tennessee Increases Eligibility for Major Scholarship Program

The University of Tennessee (UT) Tuesday announced that it will expand eligibility for a major scholarship program called the UT Promise. 

“The University of Tennessee System announced plans to extend the qualifying income level for UT Promise scholarship recipients once again, this time from $60,000 to $75,000 (adjusted gross income),” the school said on its website. “The university increased the income level from $50,000 to $60,000 in 2021. The announcement was made as UT System President Randy Boyd prepares to tour high schools across the state for the fourth UT Promise tour.”

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Tennessee Senator Blackburn Introduces Sister City Transparency Act

U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) this week reintroduced the Sister City Transparency Act, a bill aimed toward addressing geostrategic scheming, particularly by China.

“Sister cities” are municipalities that enter into diplomatic relationships with localities abroad to facilitate cultural and economic exchange. But, the senator told The Tennessee Star, China is using these arrangements to advance propaganda and exert political pressure. 

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Most Politicians’ Think Tanks Heavy on Research Output, in Contrast to Penn Biden Center

Numerous university think tanks have had national political leaders as figureheads. The University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement isn’t unique in that regard. What does set the center apart from similar institutions — besides its recent immersion in national scandal — is its limited research output. 

The Penn Biden Center is undergoing intense and somewhat bipartisan criticism for having housed nearly a dozen classified government records after Joe Biden used the space as his main D.C. office from 2017 to 2019 while also nominally working as a professor. The documents were discovered last November and other restricted federal materials turned up this month in the president’s Delaware home. Some of the records were generated when Biden served as a U.S. senator and others materialized when he was vice president. 

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Blackburn Releases New Video on the Economy, Discusses What Has Kept Tennessee Growing as Nation Struggles

Tennessee Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn is preparing to release a video via social media discussing the state’s economy and spoke with The Tennessee Star this week to discuss both the pressures it endures as well as its bright spots compared with other regions.

In the one-minute spot, which shows the senator touring a Clarksville-area manufacturing plant, she discusses the challenge ongoing inflation poses to producers as they attempt to provide affordable goods to Tennesseans. 

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New Program Allows UT Knoxville Students to Work as City of Knoxville Fellows

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy and the City of Knoxville announced a partnership launching a fellows program for Baker Center students.

The program would allow the students to “work directly in a variety of departments or agencies with the City of Knoxville,” according to a Friday press release by the City.

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Leftist Author Jon Meacham Named to Board of University of Tennessee’s Institute for American Civics

Author and former MSNBC contributor Jon Meacham was named to the Board of Fellows of the University of Tennessee’s newly established Institute for American Civics last week by University of Tennessee President Randy Boyd.

German-owned Politico reported that Meacham helped President Joe Biden “frame” his now infamously divisive “speech from hell” delivered in Philadelphia last week in which he attacked the 74 million Americans who voted for former President Donald Trump as a “threat to American democracy.”

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Report Finds That Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Have Taken Over the University of Tennessee

As part of a statement released on Tuesday, The National Association of Scholars (NAS) released a new report examining the implementation of the Diversity Action Plans at the University of Tennessee (UT).

The Anatomy of a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Takeover: A Case Study of the University of Tennessee “finds that the University of Tennessee’s series of plans further entrench the dominance of diversity, equity, and inclusion, espousing an ideology that makes narrow identity categories a central learning objective.”

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Professors in Viral Clip from Daily Wire’s ‘What is a Woman?’ Film Teaches at University of Tennessee

A professor featured in a viral clip from Daily Wire’s film “What is a Woman?” is an Associate Professor and the Chairman of the Interdisciplinary Program in Women, Gender, and Sexuality at the University of Tennessee – Knoxville. 

In the clip, which has been viewed at least two million times on Twitter alone, Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh asks Dr. Patrick Grzanka to define the term “woman.” 

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Tennessee Universities Reinstate Standardized Testing Requirement

The University of Tennessee System (UT) announced recently that it has ended its test-optional admissions policy. 

The new policy requires first-year applicants to submit an ACT or SAT score in order to be considered for the Fall 2023 semester.

Melissa Tindell, executive director of communications at the UT system, told Campus Reform that standardized test scores are part of a “holistic” admissions process. 

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Tennessee Professor Is ‘Ungrading,’ Letting Students Teach Each Other

Tim Gill

Timothy Gill, an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, tweeted yesterday that he intends to spend the semester “ungrading” and “unteaching” his students. 

“I want this to be THEIR classroom,” tweeted the sociology professor, who also expressed his intention to let the student select “the readings for the class” as well as teach “via group presentations.” 

Campus Reform reached out to Gill for comment.

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University of Tennessee System Proposes New Initiative to Offer Veterans In-State Tuition Rate

On Veterans Day this week, the University of Tennessee announced a new proposed initiative that would allow military-affiliated students–veterans, active-duty military personnel, reservists, Tennessee National Guard members, and Army and Air Force ROTC cadets to attend a UT institution of their choosing at the in-state tuition rate, according to a press release.

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University of Tennessee Expands UT Promise Scholarship Eligibility

Girl with brunette hair reading in a library

On Thursday in a press release, the University of Tennessee System announced plans to extend the household income level for UT Promise scholarship recipients. UT Promise is a last-dollar scholarship program that guarantees free tuition and fees after other financial aid is received for undergraduate, Tennessee residents with a family household income under $60,000 enrolling at University of Tennessee campuses located in Knoxville, Chattanooga, Martin, Memphis and Pulaski.

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Pharmacy Student Sues University of Tennessee for Alleged Free Speech Violations

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) initially expelled a student for content on her personal social media accounts. Officials claimed that the nuclear pharmacy student, Kimberly Diei (’23), used speech that violated the university’s conduct policies, though Diei has claimed they never informed her of which specific policies she’d violated. Neither of her profiles or any of her content identified Diei as a UT student or mentioned the school in any capacity. Only after Diei obtained legal help did the university reverse her expulsion.

Diei was investigated by the school’s Professional Conduct Committee on two separate occasions based on anonymous complaints. The first investigation occurred during Diei’s first month on campus in September 2019 regarding her Instagram and Twitter accounts in general. Following its review, the committee required Diei to write an apology letter. About a year later, Diei came under investigation again and was expelled for posting several explicit tweets referencing pop culture.
Diei was investigated by the school’s Professional Conduct Committee on two separate occasions, instigated by anonymous complaints from other program students. The first investigation occurred during Diei’s first month on campus, September 2019, regarding her Instagram and Twitter accounts in general; the committee required her to write an apology letter. About a year later, Diei came under investigation again and was expelled for posting several explicit tweets referencing pop culture.

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Mimi Groves’ Lawyer Contradicts University of Tennessee Over Viral Video: ‘She Was Forced Out’

Mimi Groves is the epicenter of a social media backlash over a three-second video taken three years ago. According her new lawyer, Groves was forced by the University of Tennessee (UT) to withdraw, and the person who originally posted the viral video was her friend.

CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor, Shanlon Wu, defends college students in university proceedings. He took on Groves as a client this past summer, long before The New York Times released their article on the incident the day after Christmas. The renewed focus centered on Galligan’s role in making the clip go viral.

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Model Developed by UT Prof Claims Jails Will Act as ‘Volcanoes’ for Spread of COVID-19 as State Prison Sees Massive Outbreak

A new model developed by a professor at the University of Tennessee and other academics suggests that most models on the coronavirus pandemic have failed to consider one important variable: jail populations.

Most standard COVID-19 models predict that America will experience about 101,000 deaths during the course of the pandemic, but that number increases by 98 percent to 200,000 deaths when jails are accounted for, the new model claims.

The model was developed by Dr. Nina Fefferman at the University of Tennessee, Dr. Eric Lofgren at Washington State University, and Dr. Kristian Lum from the University of Pennsylvania, in collaboration with Aaron Horowitz and Brooke Madubuonwu of the ACLU’s data analytics team.

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ABUSE OF POWER: Taxpayer Funded University of Tennessee Law Professors Urge Senators Alexander and Blackburn to Vote for Witnesses in Effort to Take Down President Trump

On Thursday’s Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Michael Patrick Leahy was joined in studio by Carol Swain to discuss the misuse of taxpayer funds in an effort to aid in the impeachment of President Trump.

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PJTN’s Laurie Cardoza-Moore Reveals Co-Sponsors for Anti-Semitic Awareness Act Legislation in Tennessee

  On Friday’s Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – Leahy spoke with Laurie Cardoza-Moore President and founder of Proclaiming Justice to the Nations about the continued anti-Semitic activity at UT Knoxville that’s gone conveniently unnoticed by the chancellors. Moore explained how many textbooks are teaching a false narrative about 9-11 and the Jewish people which is creating a violation of civil rights for those Jewish students. Towards the end of the segment, Moore revealed the two co-sponsors for her anti-Semitism Awareness Act in the state of Tennessee and advocated for a federal investigation of college campuses where anti-Semitic incidences occur. Leahy: And we are joined now on our newsmaker line by our very good friend Laurie Cardoza-Moore founder of Proclaiming Justice to the Nations. Welcome, Laurie. Moore: Good morning. Thank you for having me on the program again this morning. Leahy: We always are happy to have you on here Laurie. And you know you started Proclaiming Justice to the Nations just a few days after the original 9-11 attacks in 2001. Tell us a little bit about how you got…

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Comptroller Pulls Back Curtain Behind UT Knoxville’s Sex Week Programs

The University of Tennessee at Knoxville is facing the music over the controversial event known as Sex Week, with the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office sending a report to legislators pointing out that very few students attend the university-supported program. A copy of the report by the Comptroller’s Office of Research and Education Accountability is available here. The report was given to the Senate Education Committee Wednesday. Legislative leadership requested a review of the week-long event which has been held at UTK each spring since 2013. The event is organized by Sexual Empowerment and Awareness at Tennessee (SEAT), a registered student organization (RSO). A 2017 story by The Tennessee Star revealed the titles of some of the Sex Week classes, such as “Having an Affair With Yourself.” The names go downhill from there. According to the Comptroller, SEAT’s membership is less than one-tenth of 1 percent of UTK’s enrollment, and has refused administrators’ requests to “tone it down.” The Comptroller’s Office says: • SEAT is one of about 600 RSOs at UTK, all of which are eligible to request student activity fee funding. In four of the past five years, SEAT received the highest allocation of student activity fee funds, including about…

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University of Tennessee and University of Memphis Have Several Title IX Complaints Filed Against Them

People in Tennessee lodged far more Title IX discrimination complaints against the University of Tennessee and the University of Memphis than other public entities in the state that take federal money, according to a new report. In laymen’s terms, that means a lot of people allege school officials discriminated against them because of their gender. More specifically, Title IX says no education program that takes federal taxpayer money can discriminate based on sex, and it includes protections against sexual harassment. According to a new report from Tennessee Comptrollers, the University of Memphis had 153 Title IX complaints in Fiscal Year 2018, a slight increase from 152 in Fiscal Year 2017. Schools in the University of Tennessee System, meanwhile, had 162 Title IX complaints in Fiscal Year 2018. The UT system had 166 such complaints in Fiscal Year 2017 and 129 in Fiscal Year 2016, according to the Comptrollers’ report. In an emailed statement, Kenneth P. Anderson, the University of Memphis’ Title IX coordinator for the Office of Institutional Equity, said the high number of complaints is “a positive.” “They speak to the University’s efforts to seriously address interpersonal violence and sexual misconduct,” Anderson told The Tennessee Star. “The University of…

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Randy Boyd Says He Will Not Run For Lamar Alexander’s Senate Seat, Citing Two Year Commitment to UT

Former gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd will not run for retiring U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander’s seat because he is serving as interim president of the University of Tennessee system for a two-year period, the Chattanooga Times Free Press said Tuesday. Boyd finished in second place to Gov.-elect Bill Lee in the August Republican primary after spending an estimated $20 million on his campaign. Had he chosen to run for the U.S. Senate in 2020 to succeed Alexander, he would have been a first tier candidate, despite his primary loss. According to the Times Free Press: “It just seems so far removed from the state of Tennessee, I couldn’t see myself in Washington, D.C., arguing about things and not getting as in depth,” he said. Having only 24 months or less to tackle his goals adds to that sense of urgency, he said. Alexander (R-TN) on Monday said he would not run for a fourth term in 2020. Tennessee Star Political Editor Steve Gill said, “Lamar just gave political consultants and media buyers an early Christmas gift as he just kick-started the 2020 campaign for his open Senate seat.” The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees on Sept. 25 appointed Boyd as…

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