FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Rep. John Ray Clemmons
Nashville, Tennessee – Today, the University of Tennessee announced that UT-Knoxville, UT-Chattanooga, and UT-Martin would be opting out of the state’s outsourcing contract with Jones Lang Lasalle. State Rep. Clemmons issued the following statement in response:
I applaud and fully support the decisions of the chancellors for UT Knoxville, UT Chattanooga, and UT Martin who decided to opt out of the state’s outsourcing contract with Jones Lang Lasalle. It is apparent that each of these leaders made what they felt was the best decision for their respective institutions after a thorough analysis and thoughtful consideration of the costs and alleged benefits of this contract. I can only suspect that they saw what we saw – the numbers simply did not add up, the risk of lower quality services and less accountability was too great, and the inevitable costs to working families was too high. These highly respected institutions of higher learning have my full, unwavering support.
Having hosted town hall discussions on this issue with students, faculty and workers at both UT Knoxville and UT Chattanooga in recent years, Sen. Lee Harris and I gained valuable, personal insight into the serious concerns of all those who would have been directly impacted by outsourcing of the type and scale proposed. The employees targeted by Governor Haslam, who we learned are more like family to students and faculty, are committed to serving our state and dedicated to their respective tasks. Countless small, independent businesses in and around our college towns would have been hit hard, and local economies would have felt the negative repercussions.
With this decision made, I encourage our friends and workers at these universities to continue their hard work and vital service to our state, and I encourage my colleagues in state government to remain laser-focused on what our state’s college and university system is all about – providing the young men and women of Tennessee the best possible education and workforce training.