Board of Regents Charge

The Board of Regents continues to deliberate upon the best long-term uses of the various sites along University Avenue. The Board sees no reason to be rushed to make decisions about those sites. Data should inform conclusions, and more data are needed.

The Board acknowledges the complexity of the issues, which is why taking time is important. The Board and Vice-Chancellor continue to seek informed input, as we have in the past.

The Board and Vice-Chancellor both believe that there needs to be an orderly process to solicit additional community (broadly-defined) input on these issues, and that such input is best secured through a combination of open, public meetings and expression of views in writing. The community from whom views will be welcome include, but are not limited to, those presently residing in Sewanee (students, faculty, staff, alumni, local residents), those who belong to the extended family of the University (alumni, parents, friends), and those whose professional expertise can be of assistance in the Board’s deliberations.

Therefore, and on the recommendation of the Vice-Chancellor, the Board has decided the following:

  • to review in detail as possible sites for the University Commons the Rebel’s Rest site, the Fulford Hall site, and the space immediately adjacent to the University Supply Store to the north of the pathway through Elliott Park, in addition to the Thompson Union site;
  • in the course of that review, to consider the best and most appropriate uses for those four sites in the long-term interest of the University and its community;
  • to charge the Vice-Chancellor with establishing a process for the orderly gathering of ideas and opinions, in various public fora, and also in writing, from all those noted above who may wish to share those ideas and opinions, which will be communicated by him to the Board;
  • to urge all parties to exemplify the level of reasoned and civil discourse that has long distinguished the Sewanee community;
  • finally, to make a decision, when ready, about the sites under consideration, and other sites that may emerge in the course of the study about to be undertaken, the buildings to be placed on them, and the uses to which those buildings will be put.

In conclusion, the Board speaks with a single voice on these matters. It fully supports the leadership of the Vice-Chancellor and his team. It forecloses at this time none of the options still on the table; indeed, it expands those options. It is mindful that its work must always focus on providing an excellent learning environment for its students. And it is thus confident that the decisions it ultimately makes will be in the best long-term interests of the University.