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KNOXVILLE — University of Tennessee trustees approved plans Tuesday to shift more money to priority programs, create a pool of funds for salary increases, and affirm UT’s commitment to diversity.

The board approved a reallocation plan outlining how UT might operate more efficiently and with more limited resources. It will be submitted to state legislators Jan. 1, 2002.

Reallocations in the plan which already are being implemented at UT include:
— Consolidating colleges or departments to free up funds for priorities such as the honors program, graduate stipends, and faculty pay raises.
— Reducing or eliminating programs, such as the Institute of Agriculture’s elimination of 76 specialist and extension agent positions to generate $2.1 million for salary increases of remaining employees.
— Higher fees for services, such as The Veterinary Teaching Hospital increasing clinic fees to generate $400,000 for salary adjustments and operating funds
— Deferral of expenditures, such as freezes on hiring, delaying non-critical purchases; filling critical positions with temporary personnel; limiting travel; and postponing preventive maintenance.
Future reallocations cited in the plan include:
— Obtaining $580,000 from not filling position vacancies and shifting it to information technologies such as network services, network security, customer support, and web services.
— Reducing Athletic Scholarships at Chattanooga and Martin campuses and saving more than $200,000.
— Replacing some retiring professors with entry-level rather than seasoned faculty.
— Reducing support for student services, such as cultural activities, counseling, health services, and student organizations.
— Transferring more dollars in the UT athletics program at Knoxville to free up funds to be used for academic and student programs.
–Implementing new financial and human resource systems to save an estimated $250,000 annually.

The board also established a 3.5 percent pool for faculty and a 1.5 percent pool for staff to augment 2.5 percent across-the-board pay raises appropriated by the state in July.

Fly said the salary adjustments would be made effective in January.

The board also approved a UT statement of commitment to diversity and equal opportunity.

In the statement, the board “specifically affirms its commitment to the requirements, objectives and spirit of the court approved consent decree” in the Geier desegregation lawsuit against the State of Tennessee.