The following is a non-exclusive list of powers and responsibilities of the Board of Trustees as expressly granted by statute or implied as necessary, proper, or convenient for the accomplishment of the mission of the University and the responsibilities of the Board.

  1. Adoption of bylaws, rules, and regulations for the governance of the University and the promotion of education in the University as the Board deems expedient or necessary; provided that the bylaws, rules, and regulations shall not be inconsistent with the constitution and laws of the United States or the State of Tennessee.
  2. Exercise of full authority and control over all University funds, whether appropriated from state revenues or institutional revenues, except authority to reallocate funds appropriated for a specific purpose or funds appropriated pursuant to the outcomes-based funding formula.
  3. Taking all actions necessary and appropriate to ensure the financial stability and solvency of the University.
  4. Evaluating administrative operations and academic programs periodically to identify efficiencies to be achieved through streamlining, consolidation, reallocation, or other measures.
  5. Approval of student tuition and fees for which Board approval is required by Board policy and any proposal for waiver or discount of student tuition and fees unless mandated by state law.
  6. Evaluating student financial aid in relation to the cost of attendance and approving any necessary policies to improve the availability of financial aid that are in the best interest of students, the University, and the state.
  7. Approval of the annual operating budget and thereby confirming the salaries of all University employees.
  8. Approval of proposed capital outlay and capital maintenance budgets prior to their submission to other state agencies and officials and authorizing the administration to enter into contracts for design and construction of projects for the next fiscal year.
  9. Approval of construction of buildings and other capital improvements to be funded by revenues or other institutional funds not specifically appropriated for capital outlay, subject to final approval by the State Building Commission; provided that the Board may authorize the President to approve additional projects identified during the fiscal year, subject to final approval by the State Building Commission.
  10. With the prior approval of the Tennessee State School Bond Authority, authority to borrow money for the purpose of erecting buildings, purchasing real estate, or cooperating with agencies of the United States and to issue evidences of indebtedness for those purposes.
  11. Approval of a facilities master plan for each campus and institute.
  12. Approval of the acquisition of any interest in real property, including acquisition by gift or devise if the acquisition obligates the University or the State of Tennessee to expend state funds for capital improvements or continuing operating expenditures, subject to final approval by the State Building Commission.
  13. Approval of the sale or other disposal of real property owned by the University, subject to final approval by the State Building Commission.
  14. Approval of a mission statement for the system and each campus and institute.
  15. Approval of strategic plans for the system and each campus and institute.
  16. Approval of the scope of the educational opportunities to be offered by the University, including approval of new academic degrees or degree programs, subject to final approval by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and, if required by the Commission, approval of the modification of existing programs; provided that the planning and development of curricula shall be the function of the faculties.
  17. Approval of the termination of academic programs when termination of tenured or tenure-track faculty members is involved.
  18. Approval of the establishment of a new campus, institute, college, or school.
  19. Approval of general admission, retention, and graduation requirements for each campus.
  20. Approval of rules and regulations defining residency of students for the purpose of determining whether out-of-state tuition will be charged, subject to applicable statutory requirements.
  21. Approval of policies and procedures, including campus handbook provisions, governing (1) academic freedom; (2) appointment, retention, promotion, tenure, evaluation, and termination of faculty members; (3) faculty workload; (4) intellectual property rights; and (5) compensated outside services by faculty members.
  22. Granting tenure, upon the President’s positive recommendation, to (1) an officer of the University (as defined in Article VI of the Bylaws) who simultaneously holds a faculty appointment; (2) a faculty member who is to be granted tenure upon initial appointment without serving a probationary period at a University campus; and (3) a faculty member to be granted tenure after serving less than a six-year probationary period at a University campus.
  23. Approval of the conferral of the degrees by the President and Chancellors in any bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral program that has been approved by the Board, upon certification by the appropriate University offices that a student has satisfied all degree requirements and all obligations to the University.
  24. Granting honorary degrees in accordance with the Board Policy on Honorary Degrees.
  25. Approval of policies governing student conduct and disciplinary actions.
  26. Approval of a voluntary retirement incentive plan for a campus or institute or for a particular unit within a campus or institute.
  27. Approval of the naming of buildings and other assets of the University, including colleges, schools, and programs, except as may be delegated to the administration from time to time by Board policy.
  28. Approval of the creation of legal entities that will bear the University’s name and the governance structure of such entities.
  29. Overseeing and monitoring the operation of the intercollegiate athletics programs, including proposed actions reasonably anticipated to have a long-term impact on the operations, reputation, and standing of the intercollegiate athletics programs or the University.
  30. Monitoring nonacademic programs, other than athletics, including programs related to diversity, and monitoring compliance of nonacademic programs with federal and state laws, rules, and regulations.
  31. Establishing a process through which each advisory board created pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated § 49-9-501 must provide a recommendation to the President on the proposed operating budget, including tuition and fees, as it relates to the respective institution prior to the adoption of the annual operating budget by the Board, beginning with any operating budget adopted after January 1, 2019.
  32. Establishing a process through which each advisory board created pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated § 49-9-501 must provide a recommendation to the President on the proposed strategic plan for the respective institution prior to the approval of the strategic plan by the Board, beginning with any strategic plan approved or adopted after January 1, 2019.
  33. Establishing a mechanism by which a person may bring an issue to the attention of the Board and provide notice of that mechanism to the public.
  34. Providing, in conjunction with regular meetings of the Board, a reasonable opportunity for the public to address the Board, or a committee of the Board, concerning issues germane to the responsibilities of the Board.