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UT faculty back Jimmy Cheek, Rickey Hall after criticism over holiday party recommendations

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UT Chancellor Jimmy Cheek. News Sentinel photo UT Chancellor Jimmy Cheek. News Sentinel photo
KNOXVILLE (News Sentinel) -

University of Tennessee faculty pledged support Sunday for Chancellor Jimmy Cheek and Vice Chancellor Rickey Hall, days after a handful of state lawmakers called for the campus leader’s resignation.

The Faculty Senate will hold an emergency meeting Tuesday to discuss the mounting political outrage over a list of holiday party guidelines that critics have blasted as an affront to Christianity. The group, which represents all campus professors and instructors, plans to draft a resolution to send to UT President Joe DiPietro.

“Chancellor Cheek and Vice Chancellor Hall have worked tirelessly to help make UT a more welcoming and inclusive place for all students, faculty and staff, and we support them in these efforts,” read the statement by the Faculty Senate’s executive council and past presidents of the organization.

All nine of the state’s Republicans in Congress spoke out against the guidelines last week, which suggested that campus holiday gatherings not be “a Christmas party in disguise” and that games with “religious or cultural themes” — such as Secret Santa or Dreidel — be avoided.

Read more from our news partners at the Knoxville News Sentinel.

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