UT Chancellor Apologizes for ‘Dismissive’ Letter on Same-

University of Tennessee Chancellor Jimmy Cheek has apologized to the Faculty Senate for an administrative letter sent last month regarding domestic partner benefits that many faculty found “dismissive,” reports the News Sentinel.
The letter, co-authored with Agriculture Chancellor Larry Arrington, was a response requested by the faculty to a resolution the Senate drafted in April, supporting education, leave and health benefits for same-sex couples that mirror what is offered to married couples.
“We understand your frustration, and we’re sorry the letter may have come across as dismissive. It certainly wasn’t intended that way,” Cheek said. “We have been and will continue to work with Faculty Senate leadership on this issue.”
Cheek said he and Arrington would send a new letter better explaining the university’s position “in a couple weeks.”
In first letter, distributed to the faculty at last month’s meeting, Cheek and Arrington wrote that the three faculty proposals are “inconsistent with the public policy of our state expressed in constitutional and statutory provisions.”
Faculty senators, however, expressed frustration that the three-paragraph letter left no room for dialogue, did not explain which laws such benefits would violate and did not offer alternative solutions
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