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Lawmakers move to start 'intellectual diversity' office at UT to encourage conservatives views

Adam Tamburin, USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennessee • Mar 2, 2017 at 1:51 PM

A year after the General Assembly de-funded the Office for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Tennessee's flagship campus in Knoxville, a panel of state lawmakers voted Wednesday to create an "intellectual diversity" office there.

Sen. Joey Hensley, R-Hohenwald, recommended the office while the Senate Education Committee was reviewing the UT budget as proposed by Gov. Bill Haslam. Hensley proposed an amendment that would set aside $450,000 from the budget to fund the office on the Knoxville campus, a move some senators suggested would encourage more people with conservative views to speak their minds.

UT President Joe DiPietro, who had been fielding questions from the committee for more than an hour, seemed blindsided. But he urged the lawmakers to give university leaders a chance to consider other options.

Read more from our media partners at The Tennessean.

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