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KNOXVILLE — The “new” University of Tennessee has been given the stamp of approval by the organization that accredits the South’s colleges and universities, UT President J. Wade Gilley said Friday.

The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) gave the go-ahead for the consolidation of two campuses and three institutes into a new institution, Gilley said. UT-Knoxville, UT-Memphis, the UT Space Institute and the institutes of agriculture and public service make up the new UT.

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

With SACS’ and the board’s actions, UT-Memphis becomes the Health Science Center. Gilley and HSC officials will officially recognize the renaming Monday.

“We are pleased that SACS acted quickly to approve the consolidation of these units,” Gilley said. “Bringing Memphis and our other research and outreach units into one institution will help us achieve our goal of being a top 25 public research university.

“This also is an important step in our plan to cut administrative costs $30 to $40 million over the next five years.”

There now are three accredited institutions in the university system – the University of Tennessee, UT-Chattanooga and UT-Martin.