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UT Board of Trustees approve tuition hikes

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees on Thursday approved tuition hikes that range from 8 percent at the Knoxville campus to 3.5 percent at the university's College of Law.

UT President Joe DiPietro told reporters after the meeting that nobody wants tuition hikes.

"But the reality is if you want to drive your programs forward ... there's
not much alternative," he said.

Also Thursday, Gov. Bill Haslam said he doesn't believe Democratic
lawmakers' request for a special session to discuss using surplus state revenues to halt tuition increases is "wise planning for the state."

The legislators told reporters at a news conference Wednesday that lawmakers would like a session to be held in August, possibly before students return to school. They also want to uses the state surplus to drop the sales tax on groceries below 5.25 percent. Haslam included funding in his budget to reduce the sales tax from 5.5 percent.

But the governor told The Associated Press before a meeting of the trustees that there are many other issues to be addressed.