KNOXVILLE (AP) — An online petition from students is pressuring the chancellor of the University of Tennessee’s Knoxville campus to forgo a raise of more than $22,000.
The university president on Friday defended Chancellor Jimmy Cheek’s nearly $400,000 salary as below the median for leaders of similar colleges.
By midday Friday, there were 860 signatures on the petition at www.change.org, a website that allows people to create online petitions seeking social change. The petition was started by Andrew Doss, an electrical engineering student from Goodlettsville.
According to WVLT-TV, the tuition increase to be paid in the fall will average about $289 while Cheek’s raise is $22,356.
Tuition went up 12 percent for UTK undergraduates in 2011, and trustees just approved another hike of 8 percent to take effect with the fall semester.
Brandon Brackman signed the petition and said he’s fortunate to have scholarships and grants to continue at UT for another year.
He added, “But I have friends who rely on loans and on the sweat off their backs. This is making me bitter and jaded about the state of higher public education. Something needs to be done.”
Lisa Dicker also signed and wrote, “As a student who works two part-time jobs and maintains a 4.0 GPA, this increase in tuition as a benefit to my education is insulting. Jimmy Cheek accepting another pay raise just adds to my increasing loss of faith in our administration.”