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KNOXVILLE — A regional accrediting board has approved the merger of two campuses and three institutes of the University of Tennessee.

The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools gave the go-ahead to the consolidation of UT-Knoxville, UT-Memphis, the UT Space Institute and the institutes of agriculture and public service.

With the action, there now are three accredited institutions in the university system: the University of Tennessee, the newly accredited unit to be commonly referred to as Tennessee; UT-Chattanooga; and UT-Martin.

The UT Board of Trustees gave its approval to the changes in February. UT President J. Wade Gilley asked the board for the reorganization to cut administrative costs and streamline operations.

“We are pleased that SACS acted quickly to approve the consolidation of these units,” Gilley said. “This is an important step in our plan to cut administrative costs $30 to $40 million over the next five years.”