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Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam Praises Passage of University of Tennessee FOCUS Act


Tennessee Governor Appoints UT Board of Trustees Members

Tennessee State GovernmentNashville, TN – Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam praised passage of the University of Tennessee Focusing On Campus and University Success (FOCUS) Act, legislation that restructures the UT Board of Trustees to improve governance of the UT system and establishes advisory boards for the primary UT campuses to create a local focus for each campus.

The University of Tennessee FOCUS Act, SB2260/HB2115, reduces the current size of the UT Board of Trustees, empowering the reconstructed board to better oversee the multiple campuses that comprise the UT system.

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam.

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam.

In addition to modernizing the focus and responsibilities of the UT Board of Trustees, the legislation establishes advisory boards for the primary UT campuses: The University of Tennessee, Knoxville; The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; The University of Tennessee at Martin; and The University of Tennessee Health Science Center. These advisory boards will allow each campus to have a local focus.   

 “We appreciate the General Assembly, especially the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Mark Norris and Rep. David Hawk, for their partnership in passing this important legislation and we’re excited to move forward with the implementation process,” Haslam said. “This restructuring will improve the effectiveness of the board and positively impact the multiple campuses that comprise the UT system. Additionally, the advisory boards will create a culture of creativity at the campus level, and will allow each of the boards to respond nimbly to the needs of their respective institutions.” 

Haslam today also announced the names of the 10 board appointees, all of whom are UT alumni and include at least two members from each grand division of the state. The board will have a total of 12 members including the Commissioner of Agriculture and a non-voting student member. A faculty member will be appointed to the Academic Affairs and Student Success committee of the board.

The governor’s appointees are as follows:

  • John Compton, former President of PepsiCo and current partner with Clayton, Dubilier & Rice
  • Kara Lawson, former Lady Vol and current basketball television analyst for ESPN and the Washington Wizards Donnie Smith, former President and Chief Executive Officer of Tyson Foods
  • Sharon Pryse, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of The Trust Company
  • Kim White, President and Chief Executive Officer of River City Company
  • Bill Rhodes, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of AutoZone
  • Melvin Malone, former Special Tennessee Supreme Court Justice and current practice group leader with Butler Snow LLP
  • Bill Evans, former Director and Chief Executive Officer of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
  • Raja Jubran, Chief Executive Officer of Denark Construction
  • Brad Lampley, former Tennessee Volunteers football player and current partner in charge of the Nashville office of Adams and Reese, LLP

For more information on the appointees, click here.  

The appointments are effective July 1st, 2018, subject to confirmation by the Tennessee General Assembly.




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