NASHVILLE, Tn. – The University of Tennessee at Knoxville’s chancellor has drawn scrutiny during a Republican-led legislative meeting for attending a fundraiser that generated $300,000-plus for the school’s LGBT center.
The Vol Means All group says the Feb. 1 fundraising haul is 10 percent of its $3 million endowment goal for the Pride Center. University spokeswoman Katherine Pauline Saxon says the center’s budget is currently $82,350, privately funded.
In 2016, the Republican-led legislature voted to divert almost $446,000 from the university’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion, which funded the Pride Center.
On Monday, Republican Sen. Kerry Roberts of Springfield said Chancellor Beverly Davenport almost took an activist role by attending the fundraiser.
Davenport said she takes hundreds of fundraising trips annually, and lawmakers asked her to raise private money for that center.