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“Gov. Don Sundquist’s budget proposal for next year includes some very important investments in the future of the University of Tennessee.

“We urgently need improvements in our operating budgets, and the governor’s recommendations provide much-needed help. The proposed pay raise for faculty and staff, coupled with the special retention and recruitment pool, will advance our goal of bringing our pay plans to the level of our peer institutions.

“The second installment toward the $30 million research fund will ensure that we will maintain the momentum already achieved by the nine new centers in just their first year of operation.

“Finally, the capital outlay recommendations will allow us to finally renovate the Glocker Business Administration building in Knoxville and build the first-ever building for our College of Pharmacy in Memphis.

“The governor has shown his commitment to higher education. We hope the General Assembly can find the revenue plan to allow these investment recommendations to become a reality.”