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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A proposal to expand training facilities for Lady Vol athletes was approved Friday by the University of Tennessee board of trustees.

 The $350,000 expansion is needed, official said, because the UT-Knoxville Lady Vol program is adding three new sports — softball, soccer and rowing. The expansion would be financed by athletics department revenues.

 The recommendation goes to the State Building Commission.

 In other action, the UT trustees:

 * Approved a joint graduate program in biomedical engineering between UT-Memphis and the University of Memphis. It would be the first joint degree program involving the UT and the board of regents system.

* Voted to ask the State School Board Authority to issue $2 million to equip the Science and Engineering Building at UT-Knoxville.

 * Approved a new master’s degree in environmental science at UT-Chattanooga, subject to approval of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

UT President Joe Johnson told the trustees Gov. Don Sundquist has recommended a “good budget” for UT for next year. And, he said, the recommendations for capital outlay and capital maintenance are the highest ever for UT.

 The state administration wants to help higher education now that commitments to K-12 are being met, Johnson said.

 “The governor challenged us and the board of regents to produce ideas for improving public higher education in this state. We have a year to respond, and we will respond,” Johnson said.

 Johnson told the trustees that the university, halfway through its $250,000 21st Century Campaign, has raised nearly $225,000 in gifts and pledges.

 Johnson also told the board that, among recent medical school graduates, UT-Memphis ranks third in the South and first in Tennessee in primary care practitioners.

Contact: Bob Gilbert (423-974-2225)