Tennessee governor's plan to restructure UT Board of Trustees draws concerns

Bill Haslam wants to slash 27-member governing board to 11 members

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam gives his annual State of the State address to a joint convention of the Tennessee General Assembly Monday, Jan. 29, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

NASHVILLE - Gov. Bill Haslam's plan to downsize the University of Tennessee system's governing board faces headwinds from some state lawmakers as well as the UT Alumni Association, student and faculty groups and communities unhappy over losing their dedicated appointments on the current board of trustees.

In his last year of office, the governor is asking the General Assembly to slash the 27-member board of trustees to 11 members.

The plan also calls for creating four advisory boards at the system's four campuses, including the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, a move apparently intended to soothe potential concerns in counties with campuses that will lose current statutorily mandated appointments to the board.

"I've been pretty open that I think the current board with 27 members is too large," Haslam said recently of the bill which would remove governors from their customary spot on the board as well.