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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Higher Education Commission’s 1996-97 budget recommendations for the University of Tennessee were endorsed Friday by UT President Joe Johnson.

“I’m pleased that the commission recommended full-formula funding for our Knoxville, Chattanooga and Martin campuses,” Johnson said.

“That means operating increases of 2.1 percent for UT-Knoxville, 4.7 percent for UT-Martin and 6.8 percent for UT-Chattanooga.”

THEC’s recommended increase for UT-Memphis is 4.7 percent, including an additional $510,000 to allow UT to increase its pharmacy school first-year enrollment from 70 to 100.

“The commission also recommended a $750,000 add-on at the Space Institute to allow us to continue at the level we are now,” Johnson said.

“That’s a good recommendation in capital outlay — one of the largest I’ve seen in a long time,” he said.

“There are some major (capital outlay) projects for UT — the agricultural-biotech building in Knoxville, renovations of the education building in Knoxville, the Wittenborg Building in Memphis, the gas dynamics lab at the Space Institute, Brehm Hall renovation at Martin, and the Alumni Memorial Building and Hesler Biology Building in Knoxville.”

Johnson said he’s pleased with the recommendation of $22.7 million for capital maintenance projects and a special recommendation of $10 million for new research and teaching equipment for all higher education.

“There’s no recommended money for a pay increase,” Johnson said. “The commission usually has waited to do anything on pay until it sees what’s happening to the rest of state government. I trust there’ll be a good recommendation for pay increases so the University of Tennessee can reward its hardworking, capable and effective supporting and administrative personnel and faculty.”

The THEC’s recommendations go to the legislature and the governor.