NASHVILLE —The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees approved a resolution expressing full confidence in the leadership of UT President Joe DiPietro today during a special meeting.
The Board meeting follows a May 7 UT Knoxville Faculty Senate vote to approve a resolution of censure of DiPietro.
The UT Board of Trustees disagreed with that decision.
“Over the past seven and a half years, Joe has led the university with the highest degree of integrity, delivering unprecedented results. He has demonstrated a strong dedication to the University and the state of Tennessee, and has gone to great lengths to work as a partner with faculty to improve the entire system,” board vice chair Raja Jubran said. “Joe has been a tireless advocate and supporter of faculty across the UT System, and has approached every matter with the goal of doing what was in the best interest of the institution. I think it’s extremely important to set the record straight and commend Joe for everything he has done for the University.”
Terry Cooper, Trustee faculty representative and professor of microbiology and immunology at the UT Health Science Center, also expressed disappointment with the UT Knoxville Faculty Senate’s decision.
“I don’t believe this type of action should have been taken,” he said. “Dr. Joe has been available to the UFC (University Faculty Council) anytime we have asked him to meet with us. While there is concern about the post- tenure faculty review, the truth is this is an opportunity for 98 percent of the faculty to be recognized for the accomplishments. The fact that we (faculty) have an opportunity to be a part of the development of the process is a very positive thing.”
The Board’s resolution commended DiPietro for his leadership of the UT System and his role in the University’s unprecedented growth in a number of areas, including enrollment, graduation rates, retention and research. The resolution also lauded his efforts to create a transparent environment for campus leaders to make a decision as to what was in the best interest of their campus in regards to the outsourcing of facilities management and his work with faculty across the system to enhance the Board’s tenure policy to improve performance, transparency and accountability.
The Board of Trustees will meet again on June 22 in Knoxville.