Share story

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Republican-led state Senate has approved a bill that would reshape the University of Tennessee’s board of trustees.

Senators cast a 27-3 vote Monday for Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposal.

The plan would shrink the board from 27 to 11 members and create four seven-member advisory boards specific to individual campuses. Each advisory board would have one student and one faculty member.

The legislation has drawn scrutiny because it would remove the faculty and student representation in the current board, among other concerns.

Haslam has contended there’s less accountability and ownership in a bigger board.

Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman Jeff Yarbro said the bill actually doesn’t make the board smaller, going from 27 to 39 people involved, and one board to five panels.

The proposal needs Republican-led House’s approval.