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State Outsourcing Initiative

Senate Budget Committee Forum on Outsourcing

The UTK Faculty Senate Budget and Planning Committee is hosting a forum on “Outsourcing Facts and Figures” to be held on Wednesday April 26 in Hodges Library Room 213 from 3:30-5:00 PM. The objective of the forum is to provide a summary of the Budget and Planning Committee’s analysis of potential outsourcing plans to inform decisions by the UTK and UTIA administrations.

Background

Governor Haslam has proposed an outsourcing plan for management of Tennessee’s state facilities, which includes the university.  The contract has been awarded to Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL), a Chicago-based firm that has managed some of the state’s properties. Concerns have been raised about JLL in the wake of a state audit.

In 2015, the Faculty Senate passed a resolution opposing this outsourcing plan.  We believe it will be detrimental to the interests of the University community, harming employees and adversely affecting students’ educational environment.  Nothing in the ensuing bidding process or awarding of the contract has mitigated the concerns expressed in the resolution.

The campus has been assured that the Chancellor may opt out of the plan if it is not beneficial to the university.  Despite this, there remains concern about the level of pressure that will be placed on the Chancellor in her decision-making process.

Much of the proposal and awarding process has not been public–the state citing the need to preserve confidentiality around business practices.

As of April 20, 2017, the contract has not been publicly released. The Request for Proposals (RFP) has been released, and it can be found here:

Request for Proposals for Facilities Management Services

The lack of information about the contract is of concern, given the timeline calls for the state to send the contract to the contractor (JLL) by April 28.

Below are some articles that provide background on the state’s outsourcing initiative.

Chicago company wins bid to manage Tennessee higher education facilities

Confidential Timetable Puts Privatization On Fast Track

The reporting of Newschannel 5 in Nashville has been thorough on this issue.  View it here.

Haslam seeks to privatize oversight of university buildings

Anti-privatization protest greet UT trustees, given restricted space

Haslam presentation to bond-rating agencies says state ‘will’ do outsourcing

Comparison shows UT maintenance costs below outsourcing expectations

State presentation on building management contract lacks pre- and post-contract cost comparison

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