VOL. 133 | NO. 123 | Wednesday, June 20, 2018
U of M, FedEx Partner on IT Command Center
FedEx and UMRF Ventures, a wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Memphis Research Foundation, have partnered to open a student-operated IT Command Center at the FedEx Institute of Technology on campus in an effort to grow the regional data analytics workforce.
Forty-five graduate students have been hired to work closely with FedEx IT employees to use advanced software technologies to analyze, inspect, troubleshoot and interpret operational and network performance data on a real-time basis.
“We are very thankful for FedEx’s continued overwhelming support and presence on our campuses,” U of M president M. David Rudd said in a statement. “The FedEx IT Command Center provides another wonderful venue for our graduate students to not only gain valuable work experience but to earn wages to help make college more affordable.”
The new IT Command Center will open Wednesday, June 20, and will operate seven days a week.
“This is yet another example of FedEx making a positive difference on our campus and in our community,” said UMRF Ventures CEO Tom Kadien. “These graduate students will have a terrific work experience alongside FedEx professionals, and it will help them secure better jobs in the future.”
– Patrick Lantrip
Commission Overrides Veto on Bolton Appointment
Shelby County commissioners mustered the eight votes needed Monday, June 18, to override a veto by county mayor Mark Luttrell with one to spare.
Luttrell vetoed the commission’s reappointment of Julian Bolton as its legislative policy adviser. Luttrell questioned the part of that job description that included giving the commission legal advice. Luttrell says the county attorney is the attorney for the commission as well as the mayor. And he said Bolton could have been appointed to the position as an employee of the county attorney’s office.
The commission also learned Monday that its attempt to meet with Paul Summers, the coordinator of the county’s settlement agreement with the U.S. Justice Department over conditions at Memphis-Shelby County Juvenile Court won’t have any meeting with the body as a whole.
Commissioner Willie Brooks said Summers has told the administration that he will only meet with commissioners individually – meaning the meetings would not be public meetings under the state’s open meetings law.
“I don’t appreciate us having to go hat in hand,” commission chairwoman Heidi Shafer said.
Summers has told Justice Department officials that he thinks federal oversight of the court should end and that he doesn’t believe there is a racial disparity in how black juveniles are treated, a disparity documented by Justice Department findings in 2012.
Summers was appointed the new settlement coordinator after previous coordinator Bill Powell resigned last year. Powell resigned in protest after Luttrell, Juvenile Court judge Dan Michael and Sheriff Bill Oldham sent a letter to the Justice Department last year requesting an end to the federal oversight.
The Justice Department later agreed to drop some provisions because of data showing improvement, but kept the agreement in place on the critical areas of due process and racial disparities.
Luttrell has said he is reviewing Summers’ recommendation and doesn’t know if he will support it or not.
– Bill Dries
Slow Bike Ride Planned for U of M Area Thursday
The University Neighborhood Development Corp. is hosting a slow ride around the University of Memphis area Thursday, June 21.
Cyclists of all ages are invited to meet up at the Peddler Bike Shop, 3548 Walker Ave., at 6 p.m. for a three-mile trek ending at RP Tracks, which will be offering $3 local beers during Pint Night.
All bike types are welcome and an award for the most creative bike will also be handed out.
– Patrick Lantrip
Nashville Attorney to Lead Tennessee Bar Association
Nashville attorney Jason Pannu is the new president of the Tennessee Bar Association.
Outgoing TBA president Lucian Pera handed over the gavel to Pannu during last week’s TBA annual meeting at The Peabody hotel.
Pannu is an attorney with Lewis Thomason and serves a term that goes into 2019.
Knoxville attorney Sarah Sheppeard is president-elect and Jackson lawyer Michelle Greenway Sellers is vice president.
– Bill Dries