University of Tennessee discovers it must offer speech, hearing center

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- An old gift has presented a new problem for budget-cutting administrators at the University of Tennessee.

UT President John Petersen's plans to eliminate the Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology at the main campus in Knoxville has run up against a 1958 agreement obligating UT to operate a hearing and speech center in Knoxville through 2057.

Based on that finding, the university says it will continue to offer those clinic services, but will try to find private or public-private funding to pay for them.

That way, administrators still can make the $1.4 million program cut, part of $11.1 million in mandated cuts to the main campus to offset reduced state appropriations.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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  • by L.A. Location: Owings Mills, MD on Jul 17, 2008 at 08:47 AM
    After reading about the proposed closing of this program, I was angered and dissapointed. Across this nation, we need more and more Speech-language and hearing professionals, and more accredited programs to train them. This partiucalr program's job-attainment rate at graduation is 100%. The University can benefit from a speech and hearing department sharing research across departments including neuroscience, biology, education, lingusitics. The state of Tennesee, the Knoxville area, and the nation are all better off by having succcessful education programs such as this. I fully support this program, and efforts to keep it going and growing. I am A speech-language Pathologist who knows there are not enough of us out there, the job demand is great in this highly respected and very necessary family of professions!
  • by Kellie Location: Knoxville on Jun 13, 2008 at 12:26 AM
    The university needs to understand the importance of keeping the whole audiology department open ,not just what they can get away with. MY child has cochlear implants and she has been at UT for seven years. Our audiologist is detremental in the quality of my childs life. The public deserves honesty not half truths. Keep the whole department open. The need for audiologist is great and will only become greater.President Peterson needs to find other areas to cut and save money.Do not punish innocent children. It is ludicrous and sickening to think this is not a need. The amount of deaf and implanted children continues to grow so does the need for audiologists in the future.The news today was misleading a small portion of the department will be kept open, not the department as a whole.Do not dispose of a good thing find a way to make it work.
  • by Nicole Location: Knoxville on Jun 12, 2008 at 10:40 PM
    Continuing to offer clinic services does not mean save the Audiology and Speech Pathology department. The university's decision to close a top rated program that serves the community young and old, has 100 % placement in their program while the country has a shortage of Speech and Language pathologist is just ludicrous. One would think the University would find a better way to capitalize on a good thing rather than cutting it.
  • by chris on Jun 12, 2008 at 12:55 PM
    I could not understand the cutting of the Auditory and Speech Pathology dept. The Tennessee School for the Deaf is here in Knoxville and many folks have no other place to go for help with hearing impaired,speech delayed or any other problems related to speech and we need more young people training at this facility. So it is a good thing the reprieve came at the last minute. One would hope the powers that be wouold see the need in East Tennessee for such a program.


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