The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees will conduct rulemaking hearings, in the manner prescribed by the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, T.C.A. §4-5-204, on Oct. 23, starting at 8:30 a.m. EDT/ 7:30 a.m. CDT. Oral and written comments on the proposed rulemaking will be received at the public hearings.

 

Proposed Rules

The rulemaking hearings pertain to the following proposed rules:

 

About the Rules

The amended student rules would implement in a permanent manner the U.S. Department of Education’s revised Title IX regulations relating to how schools respond to reports of sexual harassment. The revised Title IX regulations, which were issued on May 6, 2020 and became effective on August 14, 2020, were implemented by the University on a temporary basis through emergency rules that were adopted earlier this year. The revised rules include changes on the following items as required by the new regulations: definitions of key terms, notice provisions for student parties, the parties’ rights to an advisor, the process for investigating allegations of sexual harassment, the process for live hearings with cross examination to determine whether a student is responsible for sexual harassment, and the process by which student parties can appeal determinations.

The new student immunization rule would establish a uniform systemwide policy on immunization requirements for students of the University. The University is required to promulgate such a rule to comply with Tennessee law, including the Jacob Nunley Act, which is codified in Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-7-124. The rule would require students to provide proof of immunization for several diseases, including measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, and meningococcal disease. It also would allow the University to require students to have the flu vaccine and a COVID-19 vaccine, if one is developed and recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the Tennessee Department of Health. The rule recognizes several exemptions, including for students who are enrolled exclusively online, have a medical contraindication, or have a religious objection.

 

To Participate

Following continued guidance by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding COVID-19 and in compliance with the Tennessee Pledge and local guidelines, Board members may participate at the hearing electronically or by telephone.

The Board’s Standing Rule Governing Requests to Address the Board describes the procedures, terms, and conditions that govern requests to address the Board. The hearings will be held at the University of Tennessee, Student Union Ballrooms (Room 272 A-C), 1502 Cumberland Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37996. While the Board’s Standing Rule will apply, given the current environment regarding COVID-19, remote participation is highly encouraged and accommodations will be granted to allow for remote participation by scheduled speakers. Those wishing to address the Board in person will be required to adhere to the University’s health and safety guidelines applicable to visitors on the campus.

To address the Board at the hearings on the proposed rules (whether remotely or in person), you are requested to provide your contact information.

 
Register to Address the Board

 
The public is encouraged to watch the meeting online. The meeting will be webcast live and archived for later viewing; a link to the webcast will be available at tennessee.edu.

Interested parties may submit written comments on or before Oct. 23 to C. Ryan Stinnett, General Counsel, via email at ryanstinnett@tennessee.edu or in writing at the address listed below. In addition, Mr. Stinnett may be contacted for questions, along with copies of the rulemaking notices.

C. Ryan Stinnett, General Counsel
University of Tennessee
719 Andy Holt Tower
1331 Circle Park
Knoxville, TN 37996
Phone: (865) 974-2540
Email: ryanstinnett@tennessee.edu

 
Any individuals with disabilities who wish to participate in these proceedings and/or review the rulemaking filings that require aid to facilitate such participation should contact the following individual at least 10 days prior to the hearing (by October 13, 2020).

Melissa Tindell
University of Tennessee
P267 Andy Holt Tower
1331 Circle Park
Knoxville, TN 37996
Phone: (865) 974-0741
Email: mtindell@tennessee.edu

 


 

Order of Events

 

October 23, 2020
8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. (EDT)

 

  1. Call to Order and Roll Call

     

  2. Hearings
    1. Student Code of Conduct (UT Chattanooga)
      1. Opening Remarks of the Chair
      2. Remarks of General Counsel
      3. Requests to Address the Board (if any)

       

    2. Student Rights and Responsibilities (UT Health Science Center)
      1. Opening Remarks of the Chair
      2. Remarks of General Counsel
      3. Requests to Address the Board (if any)

       

    3. Student Code of Conduct (UT Knoxville)
      1. Opening Remarks of the Chair
      2. Remarks of General Counsel
      3. Requests to Address the Board (if any)

       

    4. Student Rights and Responsibilities (UT Martin)
      1. Opening Remarks of the Chair
      2. Remarks of General Counsel
      3. Requests to Address the Board (if any)

       

    5. Student Immunizations (All Campuses)
      1. Opening Remarks of the Chair
      2. Remarks of General Counsel
      3. Requests to Address the Board (if any)

       

  3. Adjournment