Board of Trustees » Charter Provisions

Charter Provisions

The charter provisions published here represent a compilation of the more fundamental legislative acts relating specifically to The University of Tennessee.

 

ARTICLE I

Name The name of the institution is The University of Tennessee. 1
 

ARTICLE II

Duration and Seal The University is a body politic and corporate and shall have perpetual existence and a common seal. 2
 

ARTICLE III

Offices The principal office of the University shall be in Knoxville. Other offices may be maintained at the places where the University shall carry on any of its activities. 3
 

ARTICLE IV

Object The object of the University shall be to engage in the governmental function of affording an education primarily to the youth and citizens of the State of Tennessee and to instruct and train them in those subjects leading to the degrees of bachelor of arts, master of arts, medical degrees or any other degrees known and used in any college or university in any of the United States; also to be a leading research institution devoted to research and instruction in agriculture, the arts and sciences, law, medicine, business, education, architecture, and the other disciplines. 4
 

ARTICLE V
POWERS OF THE UNIVERSITY

Sue and be Sued SECTION 1. The University, under its corporate name, may sue and be sued in any court of law or equity in this state, or elsewhere 5; however such power is not a waiver of the University's sovereign immunity. 6
Purchase, Hold, and Dispose of Property SECTION 2. The University, under its corporate name, shall be capable in law, to purchase, receive and hold to it and its successors forever, or for any less estate, any lands, tenements, goods, or chattels, which shall be given, granted, devised to it or purchased by it to the use of the University; and to use, sell, exchange, assign, transfer, convey, or dispose of any of the real or personal estate of the University, by deed or otherwise, in such manner as a majority of the Trustees of the University shall deem most advantageous for the use of the University. 7
Eminent Domain SECTION 3. The University shall have the power to condemn and appropriate such lands, property, property rights, privileges and easements of others as in the judgment of its Board of Trustees or Executive Committee may be necessary or proper for the purpose of providing buildings and other facilities, building sites, campus grounds, commons, streets, walkways, rights-of-way for utilities and other improvements, and for any extension, enlargement or improvement thereof, for the use and operation of the University and its various units and branches throughout the state. 8
Borrow Money SECTION 4. With prior approval of the state school bond authority, the University shall have full authority to borrow money for the purpose of erecting buildings, purchasing real estate, or cooperating with agencies of the United States, and to issue evidences of indebtedness therefor which shall be exempt from taxation but which shall not constitute indebtedness of the State of Tennessee. 9
Trustee of Charitable Trusts SECTION 5. The University shall have express authority and power to act as trustee of charitable trusts created pursuant to an agreement, deed of gift, or will under or by which the University is a beneficiary or trustee of a charitable trust. 10
Admission of Students SECTION 6. The Board of Trustees of the University is empowered to prescribe rules and regulations and requirements for admission of students to the University and to programs of instruction offered by the University. 11
Residency Classification SECTION 7. The Board of Trustees is empowered to establish reasonable and appropriate rules and regulations defining residency of students for the purpose of determining whether out-of-state tuition shall be charged a student enrolling at the University. 12
Confer Degrees SECTION 8. The University, by and through its President and professors, with the advice and consent of a majority of the Trustees, shall have full power and authority, at any session of the Board of Trustees, to confer on any student in the University, or any other person deemed proper, any degree known and used in colleges or universities in any of the United States. 13
Election of Officers and Fixing of Salaries SECTION 9. The Board of Trustees of the University shall have the authority to elect a president and such faculty and other officers of the University as they may judge necessary, and to fix and regulate their respective salaries. 14
Bylaws, Rules, and Regulations SECTION 10. The University may make such bylaws, rules, and regulations for the government of the University, and the promotion of education therein, as may be expedient or necessary as long as such bylaws, rules, and regulations are not inconsistent with the constitution and laws of the United States or the State of Tennessee. 15
General Powers SECTION 11. The University shall have, use and enjoy all rights, privileges and powers usually conferred upon universities. 16
 

ARTICLE VI
BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Composition of the Board SECTION 1. (a) The Board of Trustees of The University of Tennessee shall consist of five ex officio members and twenty-one appointed members.17

(b) The ex officio members of the Board of Trustees shall be the Governor, the Commissioner of Agriculture, the Commissioner of Education, the President of the University, and the Executive Director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, a non-voting member. 18

(c) The twenty-one appointed members shall be appointed in the following manner: 19

(1) One member shall be appointed from each congressional district. Each such member shall reside within the congressional district from which he or she is appointed as such district is apportioned at the time of the appointment. Appointments from reapportioned congressional districts shall be made as vacancies occur. No incumbent shall be removed from his or her seat prior to expiration of the current term as a result of changes in congressional districts occasioned by reapportionment.

(2) Two members shall be appointed from Knox County.

(3) Two members shall be appointed from Shelby County.

(4) One member shall be appointed from Weakley County.

(5) One member shall be appointed from Hamilton County.

(6) One member shall be appointed from Davidson County.

(7) One member shall be appointed from Anderson, Bedford, Coffee, Franklin, Lincoln, Moore, or Warren County.

(8) Two additional members shall be members of the faculty of the University of Tennessee who served as faculty senate president, or the equivalent, at a University of Tennessee institution during the academic year immediately preceding appointment as a trustee. One faculty member shall be a voting member and one faculty member shall be a nonvoting member, it being the legislative intent that a faculty member serve one year as a nonvoting member before becoming the voting member. It being the further legislative intent that the voting position rotate among the institutions of the University of Tennessee, the voting and nonvoting faculty members shall be appointed in accordance with the following sequence:

(A) The faculty senate president, or the equivalent, who served in such capacity at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga during the 2004-2005 academic year shall serve as the voting member for a one-year term from June 1, 2005, through May 31, 2006. The faculty senate president, or the equivalent, who served in such capacity at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center during the 2004-2005 academic year shall serve as the nonvoting member for a one-year term from June 1, 2005, through May 31, 2006, and shall serve as the voting member for a one-year term from June 1, 2006, through May 31, 2007.

(B) The faculty senate president, or the equivalent, who served in such capacity at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville during the 2005-2006 academic year shall serve as the nonvoting member for a one-year term from June 1, 2006, through May 31, 2007, and shall serve as the voting member for a one-year term from June 1, 2007, through May 31, 2008.

(C) The faculty senate president, or the equivalent, who served in such capacity at the University of Tennessee at Martin during the 2006-2007 academic year shall serve as the nonvoting member for a one-year term from June 1, 2007, through May 31, 2008, and shall serve as the voting member for a one-year term from June 1, 2008, through May 31, 2009.

(D) Beginning June 1, 2008, the nonvoting faculty position shall rotate annually to the faculty senate president, or the equivalent, who served in such capacity during the academic year immediately preceding appointment as a trustee, according to the following sequence: University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and University of Tennessee at Martin. The nonvoting faculty member shall serve a one-year term before assuming the voting position. Each term shall begin June 1 and end the following May 31.

(9) Two additional members shall be students at a University of Tennessee institution. One student member shall be a voting member and one student member shall be a nonvoting member, it being the legislative intent that a student member serve one year as a nonvoting member before becoming the voting member. It being the further legislative intent that the voting position rotate among the institutions of the University of Tennessee, the voting and nonvoting student members shall be appointed in accordance with the following sequence:

(A) Effective June 1, 2005, a student at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga shall be appointed to serve a one-year term as the voting student member through May 31, 2006. The voting student shall be appointed by the Governor from a list of three nominees prepared and submitted by the governing body of the student government association at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Effective June 1, 2005, a student at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center shall be appointed to serve a one-year term as the nonvoting member through May 31, 2006, and to serve a one-year term as the voting member from June 1, 2006, through May 31, 2007. The nonvoting student shall be appointed by the Governor from a list of three nominees prepared and submitted by the governing body of the student government association at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Only students who will be enrolled at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center through the 2006-2007 academic year shall be eligible for appointment to this nonvoting position.

(B) Effective June 1, 2006, a student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville shall be appointed to serve a one-year term as the nonvoting student member through May 31, 2007, and to serve a one-year term as the voting member from June 1, 2007, through May 31, 2008. The nonvoting student shall be appointed by the Governor from a list of three nominees prepared and submitted by the governing body of the student government association at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Only students who will be enrolled at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville through the 2007-2008 academic year shall be eligible for appointment to this nonvoting position.

(C) Effective June 1, 2007, a student at the University of Tennessee at Martin shall be appointed to serve a one-year term as the nonvoting student member through May 31, 2008, and to serve a one-year term as the voting member from June 1, 2008, through May 31, 2009. The nonvoting student shall be appointed by the Governor from a list of three nominees prepared and submitted by the governing body of the student government association at the University of Tennessee at Martin. Only students who will be enrolled at the University of Tennessee at Martin through the 2008-2009 academic year shall be eligible for appointment to this nonvoting position.

(D) Beginning June 1, 2008, the nonvoting student position shall be appointed annually by the Governor from a list of three nominees prepared and submitted by the governing body of the student government association at a University of Tennessee institution according to the following sequence: University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and University of Tennessee at Martin. The nonvoting student member shall serve a one-year term before assuming the voting position. Each term shall begin June 1 and end the following May 31. Only students who will be enrolled at the University of Tennessee institution from which they are appointed through the academic year in which they would be serving as the voting member are eligible for appointment to the nonvoting position.

(10) Appointments made after January 1, 1995, shall alternate such that every other appointment of a new member shall be a female until the membership of the Board reflects the percentage of females in the population generally, after which this provision shall cease to be effective.

(11) At least one-third of the appointed members shall be members of the principal minority political party in the state.

(12) At least one-third of the appointed members shall be alumni of The University of Tennessee.

(13) In making appointments to the Board of Trustees, the Governor shall strive to ensure that at least on person appointed is sixty years of age or older and that at least one person appointed is a member of a racial minority.
Appointments SECTION 2. All appointed members shall be appointed by the Governor subject to confirmation by the Senate, but appointments shall be effective until adversely acted upon by the Senate. 20
Term of Office SECTION 3. The term of office of each appointed member, except the faculty and student members, shall be six years beginning June 1 of the year of the appointment. 21 The term of the faculty and student members shall be one year beginning July 1 of the year of appointment. 22 All members, except the faculty and student members, shall be eligible to succeed themselves. 23
Vacation of Office and
Cause for Removal
SECTION 4. The removal of any Trustee from the county or congressional district which he or she represents, ipso facto, shall vacate the position. The failure of a Trustee to attend three regular meetings of the Board in succession shall be cause for removal and shall authorize the Board to call on the Governor to appoint a successor. 24
Filling of Vacancies SECTION 5. In case of a vacancy on the Board for any cause, the Governor shall appoint a successor to fill the unexpired term. 25
Oath of Office SECTION 6. Each Trustee, before acting in the appointment, shall take before some judge or justice of the peace an oath faithfully, honestly, and impartially to discharge the duties of the appointment, and that in all votes as a Trustee, the Trustee will vote as in his or her judgment will best promote the interest of the University and education therein. 26
Encouragement of Loyalty SECTION 7. The Trustees shall always foster, encourage, and inculcate loyalty, to both the state and national governments in the general administration of the University as well as in the discipline of students. 27
Conflicts of Interest
and Nepotism
SECTION 8. No Trustee shall be financially interested in any contract or transaction affecting the interest of the University, nor procure or be a party in any way to procuring the appointment of any relative to any position of trust or profit connected with the University. Violation of this provision shall subject the Trustee so offending to removal by the Governor or by the Board. 28
Executive Committee and Other Committees SECTION 9. The Board may appoint an executive committee which shall have full power to transact all business of the Board specifically committed to it and any other necessary business which is in harmony with the general policy of the Board made and determined at stated or called meetings. The Board may also appoint such other committees as it deems advisable for the transaction of the business of the University. 29
Meetings SECTION 10. The Board shall hold at least one stated meeting annually and such called meetings as may be necessary. Seven members shall constitute a quorum and be empowered to transact any business. The Board shall have authority to transact at any called meeting any business it is authorized to transact at stated meetings. 30
 
  1.    1879 Tennessee Public Acts ch. 75 § 1 (hereinafter Tenn. Pub. Acts), codified at, Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-9-209(a).
  2.    1807 Tenn. Pub. Acts ch. 64 § 1, codified at, Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-9-209(a).
  3.    1807 Tenn. Pub. Acts ch. 64 § 8.
  4.    1807 Tenn. Pub. Acts ch. 64 § 5; 1840 Tenn. Pub. Acts ch. 98 § 5; 1869 Tenn. Pub. Acts ch. 12 § 1.
  5.    1807 Tenn. Pub. Acts ch. 64 § 1, codified at, Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-9-209(c).
  6.    Tenn. Code Ann. § 20-13-102(b).
  7.    1807 Tenn. Pub. Acts ch. 64 §§ 1 and 7, codified at, Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-9-209(b)(1).
  8.    Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-17-301(a).
  9.    Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-9-103(b).
  10.    Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-9-107(a).
  11.    Tenn. Code Ann. §49-7-101.
  12.    Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-9-105.
  13.    1807 Tenn. Pub. Acts ch. 64 § 5, codified at, Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-9-209(f); 1840 Tenn. Pub. Acts ch. 98 § 5.
  14.    1807 Tenn. Pub. Acts ch. 64 §§ 3 and 5, codified at, Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-9-209(d)(1) and (4).
  15.    1807 Tenn. Pub. Acts ch. 64 § 3, codified at, Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-9-209(e)(1) and (2).
  16.    1840 Tenn. Pub. Acts ch. 98§5.
  17.    Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-9-202(a). Although the statute refers to twenty-two (22) appointed members, the special term of the additional member from the eighth congressional district has expired, and the total number of appointed members is now twenty-one (21).
  18.    Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-9-201.
  19.    Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-9-202(a)(1) through (13).
  20.    Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-9-202(a)(11).
  21.    Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-9-203(a).
  22.    Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-9-202(a)(8) and (12).
  23.    Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-9-203(b).
  24.    Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-9-204(b).
  25.    Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-9-204(a).
  26.    1807 Tenn. Pub. Acts ch. 64 § 6.
  27.    1869 Tenn. Pub. Acts ch. 12 § 10.
  28.    Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-9-207.
  29.    Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-9-206.
  30.    Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-9-205.