The Tennessee Language Center was created in 1986 as the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute by the Tennessee State Legislature. The name was changed to the Tennessee Language Center when it became part of the University of Tennessee’s Institute for Public Service in 2018 and the legislation was amended.

Enabling Legislation of the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute

Tennessee Code Title 49. Education § 49-50-1301

There is established a Tennessee Foreign Language Institute.

Tennessee Code Title 49. Education § 49-50-1302

The purposes of this institute shall include, but not be limited to:

(1) Coordination and provision of foreign language skills needed by state government for purposes of industrial recruitment, tourist development or any other state purpose;

(2) Original research into the most effective methods of foreign language instruction and the dissemination of that knowledge;

(3) Improvement of the language skills and teaching methods of foreign language instructors at all levels in the schools, colleges and universities of Tennessee;  and

(4) Coordination and provision of foreign language instruction to the citizens of this state.

Tennessee Code Title 49. Education § 49-50-1303

The institute shall be governed by a board composed of the following members:

(1) The commissioner of economic and community development or the commissioner’s designee;

(2) The commissioner of tourist development or the commissioner’s designee;

(3) The chancellor of the state university and community college system or the chancellor’s designee;

(4) The president of the University of Tennessee or the president’s designee;

(5) Three (3) persons who shall be appointed by the governor;

(6) The executive director of the Tennessee higher education commission;  and

(7) The commissioner of education.

Tennessee Code Title 49. Education § 49-50-1304

The board shall hire an executive director to administer the institute.  The executive director shall have demonstrated expertise in foreign language or cultural issues and programs.  The institute shall hire other staff approved by the board.

Tennessee Code Title 49. Education § 49-50-1305

(a) There is created the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute endowment fund within the state treasury.

(b) The state treasurer is authorized to accept moneys from any person, association or corporation wishing to contribute voluntarily to the endowment fund and to invest the moneys for the benefit of the fund pursuant to § 9-4-603 .

(c) The income from the endowment fund shall be used for the operation and maintenance of the institute.  All interest and earnings on deposit in the fund shall become a part of and remain in the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute endowment fund.  No funds in the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute endowment fund shall revert to the state general fund on June 30 of any year, but shall remain available for expenditure in accordance with this part.

(d) Subject to the general appropriations act, all private contributions to the fund shall be matched by the state on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

Tennessee Code Title 49. Education § 49-50-1306

a)(1) The institute shall have its primary location in the state capital.

(2) Nothing in this part shall be construed to prevent the provision or coordination of services at other locations approved by the board.

(b) The institute shall be attached to the board of regents for administrative purposes.

Tennessee Code Title 49. Education § 49-50-1307

(a) The institute has the powers necessary to fulfill its mandate, including, but not limited to, the power to:

(1) Contract with colleges and universities to provide foreign language instructional services;

(2) Enter into contracts with colleges and universities to provide for the joint appointment of faculty members from colleges and universities at the institute and for institute personnel, including the executive director, at colleges and universities;

(3) Enter into contracts with elementary and secondary schools to provide foreign language instructional assistance to those schools and their teachers;  and

(4) Accept gifts, grants, awards and other funds from private, or government or other sources.

(b) The institute shall report annually to the general assembly and the governor.

Tennessee Code Title 49. Education § 49-50-1308

Funding for the institute shall be subject to the general appropriations act.

 

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