Continuing the tradition, the UT Athletic Department is providing funds in support of academics for the University of Tennessee and the Knoxville campus. With a total gift of just over $10 million, $1.375 million goes to support academic scholarships awarded to non-student athletes including Volunteer, Bicentennial and band scholarships, as well as scholarships for members of the Peyton Manning and Neyland Scholars Programs.
“These funds will have a direct impact on our students, our research and ultimately, the people of Tennessee,” said UT Knoxville Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek. “The funding highlights the continuing partnership that exists between our athletic programs and the rest of the university.”
“We appreciate the tremendous relationship we have with the campus community,” said Mike Hamilton, men’s athletics director. “This money creates more opportunities for UT students to be successful while at UT and provides much needed financial support to our great institution during these tough economic times.”
Though $1.825 million of the gift is provided to the campus as a result of the consolidation of athletic ticket and parking benefits within the Tennessee Fund office and is used at the discretion of the chancellor, a number of other items related to the university’s academic mission are funded specifically, including $107,000 for a professor position in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, $15,000 to pay half the salary of an employee in Enrollment Services, and $20,000 to support Team Vols, a student organization focused on community service and outreach.
Other money given to UT Knoxville during fiscal year 2010 includes:
- $1.5 million for Thompson-Boling Arena’s operating deficit
- $1.125 million in annual debt service on five University parking garages
- $1.23 million for game day parking, staffing and clean up of parking areas
- $450,000 for travel and operating expenses for the Pride of the Southland Marching Band
- $200,000 for Gibbs Hall operating deficit (in addition to standard housing fees)
- $140,000 from Aramark partnership
There is also an additional $1 million transfer from athletics to the university from the new SEC television contract, to be allocated as follows:
- $800,000 for graduate assistantships campuswide
- $100,000 for the Student Success Center
- $100,000 for the Teaching and Learning Center
UT Athletics is one of only a handful of athletic departments in the country that receives no funds from state subsidies or taxes. The only funding that does not come from revenues generated by the department is a $1 million yearly contribution to women’s athletics from student fees to fulfill Title IX responsibilities.