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Athletics Reporting Line

To: UT Knoxville Faculty, Staff and Students
From: Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek, Men's Athletic Director Mike Hamilton
and Women's Athletic Director Joan Cronan
Date: June 25, 2010

The Board of Trustees on Thursday voted on bylaw changes that will move the athletics reporting line from the UT president to the UT Knoxville campus. The transfer will be effective July 1.

We believe this is a logical and positive move, especially since much of the "heavy lifting" in the administration of athletics already is performed by UT Knoxville. The UT system president, as system-wide leader, maintains ultimate oversight of all intercollegiate athletics programs.

Before this matter went to the Board of Trustees, it was studied and unanimously endorsed by a task force and the Athletics Board.

Several of the core functions were already being performed by the campus and will continue to be, including:

  • Finance and administration of most daily operations of athletics are supervised and performed by UT Knoxville administrators.
  • Operation of athletic facilities is directed by the UT Knoxville vice chancellor for finance and administration.
  • UTAD budget is embedded in the UT Knoxville budget, so the Knoxville campus is responsible for the financial obligations of men's and women's athletics.
  • UT Knoxville also oversees admissions, enrollment, financial aid as well as eligibility for our 500-plus athletes. Student Affairs provides housing, judicial affairs administration and a wide variety of student support services.

Going forward, the athletic director(s) will now be part of the chancellor's management team and will meet regularly with campus officials, which yields important opportunities to share concerns, experience and expertise. The chancellor will participate in Southeastern Conference meetings of chief executive officers and the governance of the conference.

As the day-to-day oversight changes, we will likely realize new efficiencies and more opportunities to work as partners in meeting the needs of all our students. Our students benefit from a thriving campus environment which includes a challenging academic enterprise and competitive sport programs.

We appreciate the careful consideration of the Task Force, UT Athletic Board and the Board of Trustees. We look forward to sharing even more good news about this change as we seek to improve and further all programs, both academic and athletic.

Posted June 25, 2010