Mae Beavers Hits New UT President For Reinstating Campus Diversity Office

Republican gubernatorial candidate Senator Mae Beavers expressed disappointment that the Chancellor of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Beverly Davenport, has announced plans to reinstate the Campus Diversity Office and hire a new director of the LGBT Pride Center.

She said in May 2016 HB 2248 became law, which defunded the University of Tennessee’s Office of Diversity “after the department published materials online encouraging students and staff to use gender-neutral pronouns, and in December it made an online post warning students and staff not to hold Christmas parties (or holiday parties that came too close to Christmas).”

The candidate said HB 2248 redirected funds, that were used for the Office of Diversity, towards a minority engineering scholarship program.

Senator Beavers said, “It is disappointing that the new Chancellor has decided to ignore the clear intent and legitimate concerns of the Tennessee Legislature which defunded the office after it became clear that taxpayer funds were being used to promote a radical agenda that did not reflect the values of the State and our citizens.

“Her decision to once again hire a director of the so-called Pride Center after the problems we have experienced at the University with Sex Week activities, ridiculous directives about gender-neutral pronouns and ‘inclusive’ holiday parties, and promotion of promotion of a radical liberal agenda with taxpayer dollars and student tuition, shows complete disrespect for our legislative oversight of our state funded flagship University.

“As governor I will appoint members of the Board of Trustees who will be committed to insuring that taxpayer dollars are spent at the University of Tennessee campuses in a way that will promote the best possible education value, the values of our state, and embrace rigorous intellectual debate and growth rather then promoting the liberal agendas that seem to dominate college campuses throughout the country. If anything, conservative students on campus are the ones who are being bullied into silence and submission by professors and administrators who see any opinion that contradicts their own liberal viewpoints as being unworthy of protection.

“Perhaps after the Chancellor spends a little more time in Tennessee she will understand that the term Pride of the Southland Band’ refers to the extraordinary talents of the UT Marching Band that has proudly represented the University and our state for generations and that it has nothing to do with promoting an alternative sexual preference.

“I am particularly concerned about the cavalier attitude of the Chancellor towards the $455,000 in funding that she plans to spend on the Diversity Office and Pride Center. Her statement that ‘$450,000 is not a lot of money’ in a University budget seems to indicate a complete disconnect from the challenges facing Tennessee families as they struggle to afford the ever increasing tuition at the University. Nearly a half million dollars may not seem much to the Chancellor making over $585,000 a year, but it is a lot of money to the taxpayers of Tennessee who provide her salary.”

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