Experts Guide

Gasoline and Diesel Taxes

Taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel could be going up in order to fill a funding gap between state and federal systems to maintain and update Tennessee’s aging highways and bridges. Gov. Bill Haslam kicks off a transportation tour next week and will be discussing the state’s needs with legislators, mayors, local officials, and business leaders in fifteen stops throughout August and early September.

Murray_MatthewMatthew Murray, director of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy and associate director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is an expert in state tax policy and has been studying the impact of fuel taxes in recent years. Read more.

Asad KhattakAsad Khattak is the Beaman Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UT and has expertise in highway systems in Tennessee and elsewhere. Read more.

Palmyra’s Temple of Baalshamin

The Islamic State recently beheaded a Syrian antiquities scholar, Khalid al-Asaad, 83, and set off explosives in the ancient ruins of the Temple of  Baalshamin. The city of Palmyra is a Unesco World Heritage site.

Erin Darby is an assistant professor of religious studies, focusing on Early Judaism and the Hebrew Bible. Erin Darby has received several awards, including an NEH fellowship, supporting her research in Jordan, Cyprus, Syria, and Israel, and is the co-director of the ‘Ayn Gharandal Archaeological Project in southern Jordan and leads the UT Dig Jordan study abroad program. Read more.

2016 Presidential Race

The 2016 presidential race is heating up as candidates join the fray and key issues shift.

07-37837-1_Anthony-NownesAnthony Nownes is a professor of political science whose research looks at lobbyists and interest groups at local, state, and national levels. His books include Interest Groups in American Politics: Pressure and Power, and Total Lobbying: What Lobbyists Want (and How They Try to Get It). “As always, interest groups will play a substantial role in this race, primarily by contributing money to candidates and forming super PACs,” Nownes said. Read more.

Racism and Radicalism

Following the deadly shooting of nine Charleston, South Carolina, community leaders in Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, national dialogue is turning toward issues of racism and radical ideology in the U.S. and opinions about the use of the Confederate battle flag as a symbol of hate or pride.

JoshuaInwoodJoshua Inwood, associate professor of geography and Africana studies, is an expert on racism and violence. Inwood can provide expert insight and analysis about radicalism’s destructive force and the white supremacy movement’s role in American history. Read more.