University of Tennessee at Martin creates new advisory board

MARTIN, Tenn. — Outgoing Gov. Bill Haslam visited the University of Tennessee at Martin Wednesday afternoon to meet their new advisory board.

Gov. Bill Haslam (right) addresses the University of Tennessee at Martin Advisory Board during its inaugural meeting Jan. 9. UT Martin Chancellor Keith Carver (left) and student board member Devin Majors (foreground) listen. / Photo courtesy of UT Martin

“I will be moving from the sidelines to the stadium seats, but I can assure you that I will be cheering just as hard for what happens here,” Gov. Haslam said.

“For the governor, who has to be in a million places at once, to take time out of his day to come to UT Martin, it reassures me and probably everyone else in Martin that UT Martin is a priority of the state,” advisory board student representative Devin Majors said.

The meeting was the first for the advisory board, and board members say they are looking to other schools in the University of Tennessee family for advice on how to move forward.

“They are going to give us great advice in terms of budget, strategic plan and tuition,” UT Martin Chancellor Keith Carver said.

The board is made up of representatives from across West Tennessee. Those members say they hope to make more people aware of programs the university offers for the area.

“It’s always good to have several sets of eyes, and obviously students with 7,000 voices here, it’s nice to have a student representative on the board,” Carver said.

“Things that students want to see, I want to be able to use my spot in SGA to bring it right to the people who are making the decisions,” Majors said.

The board says their top priority will be budgeting for the 2019-2020 school year.

During the meeting, board members voted to appoint chairperson Art Sparks to represent the group.

“The governor has given us expectations of what he expects us to do,” Sparks said. “I told the board really we have a responsibility to do those, but also an opportunity.”

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