Haslam UT board revamp criticized by former UT alumni association presidents

Haslam UT board revamp clears Senate panel with only 'neutral recommendation'

Gov. Bill Haslam, left, talks with UT President Joe DiPietro during a board of trustees meeting Thursday at the University of Tennessee.

NASHVILLE - Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to reduce the size and reshape the University of Tennessee system's board of trustees came in rough going in a Senate panel today after past UT national alumni association presidents and others criticized the legislation.

In the end, Government Operations Committee members let the bill move forward but only with a "neutral" recommendation instead of a positive recommendation. At least one senator wanted to slap it with a "negative" recommendation.

While praising Haslam and the General Assembly for their financial support of the UT, Bo Roberts, a one-time UT vice president and a former top aide to former Gov. Buford Ellington, told senators that "I have no problem with tweaking a system to make it better, but I have problems changing something if it ain't broke."