KNOXVILLE — More budget cuts are coming to the University of Tennessee system, a group of protesters warned today, and that may lead to graduation delays, larger classes and fewer classes.
About 300 UT system faculty, staff and students rallied today at Hodges Library on the UT campus in Knoxville, hoping to stop, or at least reduce, budget cuts to higher education.
The group of speakers, which included the presidents of the UT and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga chapters of the United Campus Workers-Communication Workers of America union, leveled harsh criticisms at UT System President John Petersen and Gov. Phil Bredesen for the two rounds of higher-education budget cuts that already have taken place. The latest round included a $17 million cut this month to the UT system.
“We may need to cut some expenses in the state and at the university, but let’s share that pain more equally,” said Jon Shefner, president of the UT chapter of the UCW-CWA. “Let’s see the tax rolls tightened so some of those millions go into state spending. Let’s see if the athletic department can spend a little less.”
Also speaking at the rally was Shela Van Ness, president of the UTC chapter of UCW-CWA. Both she and Mr. Shefner are associate professors of sociology at their respective schools.
Speakers encouraged those who attended the rally to contact their legislators and the governor to voice their concerns.
For complete details, see tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Joan Garrett McClane has been a staff writer for the Times Free Press since August 2007. Before becoming a general assignment writer for the paper, she wrote about business, higher education and the court systems. She grew up the oldest of five sisters near Birmingham, Ala., and graduated with a master's and bachelor's degrees in journalism from the University of Alabama. Before landing her first full-time job as a reporter at the Times Free Press, ...