Administration to address domestic partnership employee benefits

Tech’s faculty senate has appointed a three-person sub committee to frame a statement in response to the University of Tennessee at Knoxville’s statement endorsing same sex benefits for employees.
The issue will be resumed on Feb. 25 review the statement for approval.
The faculty senate discussed extending benefits not only to same sex couples but also to heterosexual couples cohabitating. They seek a statement more inclusive, not only extended to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered community, but extend to heterosexual domestics partnerships.
A letter from University of Tennessee Knoxville Resolution supports same sex couples to receive the same benefits, as heterosexual couples, including health benefits, family leave, and educational assistance.
A response has been submitted by Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek and Chancellor, Larry Errington, UT-Knoxville, submitted a response to the UT-Knoxville letter stating that the statement is inconsistent with the public policy of the state expressed in the constitution and statutory provisions.
The Tech faculty senate would like to discuss what freedom, if any, the university can exercise in extending some benefits such as access to the library and fitness center to domestic partnerships.
A new admissions policy was discussed and approved by a faculty senate sub council allowing each school to decide how students will make up those deficiencies. The senate said that it did not mean all students would have to take extra courses that each department will decide. Many in state school courses are recognized, but some out of state courses are not recognized at Tech.
The sub council also approved to pass an increase in salary for adjunct faculty stating that what was once the maximum salary will now become the minimum.
The academic officers and president have yet to vote on this item for further approval.
In other business, there has been some conflict in policy with grade appeals at Tech through RODP. This item has been passed to the academic council for review.
The Angelo & Jennette Vople Library has instituted Jstor, which is an online journal storage hosting academic journal archives. ILLiad is now offered at the library as way to access interlibrary loans online. According to the meeting, Get it Now will also be implemented in about two months as a new way to access more journals for research interaction.
The new additions to the library will be further discussed in the Feb. 25 meeting.