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(a) It is the object of the trust established by the last will and testament of Samuel Watkins to promote the diffusion of knowledge among the people and to afford an opportunity to the youth of Nashville who are without the means to attend schools and colleges where the higher branches of education are taught, to acquire information upon such useful subjects as will be beneficial in the business of life.
(b) The governor is authorized to appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, three (3) persons, to be known as commissioners of the Watkins Institute, who shall hold their office for four (4) years and until their successors are appointed as provided in this subsection (b).
(c) The commissioners are to receive no compensation for their services, are required to render biennial accounts to the governor of receipts, expenditures, and all other matters connected with the trust, and their management is at all times to be subject to inquiry by the authority of the state, under the protection of which the affairs of the institute are placed.
(d) The institute is intended to be a school for teaching science orally and by experiment. A large discretion is necessarily given to the commissioners as to the subjects to be treated, the number of lectures to be required on any branch of science, etc.
(e) The lecturers must be chosen with regard to their knowledge of the special branches that they profess to teach. The change of lecturers will likely be annually made, and locality, section, political or religious opinions, or personal preference, shall have no weight or influence in their selection by the commissioners.
(f) Discretion is left with the commissioners as to the means of obtaining revenue to carry out the provisions of the trust and as to the proper investment of any funds belonging to the institute. In exercising their discretion, the commissioners may sell or exchange any real or personal property belonging to the institute or held in trust by the state for the institute and may construct or lease property as needed for the purposes of the institute.
(g) Discretion is vested in the commissioners as to the purposes for which any hall to be erected in connection with the building may be used, as, on certain occasions, it may be a public convenience to rent or use it for purposes not literary or educational.
(h) The state accepts the Watkins trust, and the governor for the time being is authorized and required to appoint commissioners for the establishment and management of the Watkins Institute, in compliance with the request of Samuel Watkins, deceased, and in conformity with the provisions set forth and declared in Samuel Watkins' last will and testament, and the codicils attached to the will.
(i) The institute shall annually provide an audited financial statement to the comptroller of the treasury and to the chairs of the government operations committees of the senate and the house of representatives.
(j) The institute shall annually provide a corporate financial statement prepared by a public accountant who holds a valid permit to practice in this state to the comptroller of the treasury and to the chairs of the government operations committee of the senate and the house of representatives.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Tennessee Code Title 49. Education § 49-50-701 - last updated January 01, 2020 | https://codes.findlaw.com/tn/title-49-education/tn-code-sect-49-50-701/
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