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State Outsourcing Initiative

Message from Senate President on Chancellor Davenport’s Outsourcing Decision

We are thankful that Chancellor Davenport has made the decision to opt out of outsourcing.

Letter from Senate President Beauvais Lyons

Faculty Senate Resolution on Outsourcing in Response to JLL Proposal

Here is a copy of the resolution passed at the October 16 meeting.

JLL Proposal Released

Proposals for services provided by Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), the vendor contracted by the state of Tennessee to offer outsourced facilities management services, were recently received by each campus in the UT System. Proposals are available for review here: The Jones Lang Lasalle Proposal for UT System Campuses.

UT Facilities Services Annual Report 2016

For more background about UT Facilities Services, here is a link to their annual report for 2016.

Senate Budget Committee Report on Outsourcing

The UTK Faculty Senate Budget and Planning Committee has produced a report on the hidden costs of outsourcing, finding that outsourcing will incur substantial additional costs in terms of paying accumulated leave, lost institutional knowledge, local and state taxes, among others.

View the report here. 

View the PowerPoint from the Budget Committee forum here.

Recent Developments

A copy of the joint statement from UT System President Joe DiPietro and Terry Cowles, Director of the Office of Customer Focused Government, which affirms the right of the individual campuses to opt out of the agreement.

An editorial from State Senator Richard Briggs and State Representative Rick Staples against outsourcing.

Article about state legislators’ opposition to outsourcing.

A copy of the letter, signed by 70 legislators (over half of the state legislature) expressing concerns about outsourcing.


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. The ongoing lack of information made it difficult to provide public input into the proposal.

The Request for Proposals (RFP) can be found here: Request for Proposals for Facilities Management Services

The final contract with Jones Lang Lasalle was released in June 2017: Contract with JLL.  

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