When the News Sentinel, in a package of stories on lobbying, ran a list of University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro’s expenses going to Nashville, one item raised a few eyebrows. It was just over $1,000 to attend the Tennessee Waltz Gala.
The gala is a fund-raiser for the Tennessee State Museum and the tickets are $500 each. DiPietro’s wife Deborah is on the board that governs the museum; she is vice-chair this year.
But UT says DiPietro paid for the tickets out of his own pocket and the university president is expected to attend each year. The $1,029 expense item was for the plane trip to attend the gala. The plane had to be used because the event this year was the same day as the Orange and White game and DiPietro needed to attend both.