Faculty Senate

154 Administration Bldg.
Memphis, TN 38152-3370
Office: 901.678.2512
Fax: 901.678.4188


September 21, 2009

The following e-mail message was sent to Chris Peck, editor of the Commercial Apppeal, on Wednesday, September 16, 2009.


Subject: Commercial Appeal Article on U of M Faculty Senate
Date: Wednesday, September 16, 2009 10:06 PM
From: Jeffrey Berman (jberman) <>
To: Chris Peck <>

Chris Peck, Editor
The Commercial Appeal

Dear Mr. Peck:

I applaud the efforts of the Commercial Appeal to keep the citizens of Memphis and state of Tennessee informed of significant activities at the University of Memphis. However, for this to be beneficial, the information must be accurate. Unfortunately, such was not the case with the headline and subhead for an article appearing this morning in your paper.

The article, by Juanita Cousins, reported on a vote yesterday by the University of Memphis Faculty Senate concerning a proposal for the reorganization of higher education in the state of Tennessee. The article correctly noted that “U of M faculty senators voted to “endorse the objective outlined ... and support careful evaluation of the proposed recommendations.” However, this accurate statement in the body of the article was entirely undercut by a headline (“University of Memphis faculty senate backs one-board plan”), that is simply not true. All the senate motion called for was “careful evaluation” of the proposed reorganization plan.

Compounding the misleading headline was a false and inflammatory subhead (“Vote defies opposition of school administrators”). As president of the Faculty Senate, I can state categorically that I did not experience any pressure from the U of M administration concerning the senate’s consideration of the reorganization proposal. Although University President Shirley Raines has advocated a difference form of reorganization for the U of M, there was no attempt to derail the senate discussion nor were there comments at the meeting suggesting that our vote was viewed as being in defiance of school administrators.


-Jeffrey S. Berman


Jeffrey S. Berman
President, Faculty Senate
University of Memphis

154 Administration Building
Memphis, TN 38152
Senate office: (901) 678-2512
Direct phone:  (901) 678-2974

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