Haslam in Holding Pattern on Big Higher Ed Changes

Governor Bill Haslam was interviewed by capitol hill reporters Tuesday. Photo credit Blake Farmer/WPLN

Governor Bill Haslam was interviewed by capitol hill reporters Tuesday. Photo credit Blake Farmer/WPLN

Tennessee’s one-of-a-kind governance system for colleges and universities will stay as is for now, though Governor Bill Haslam says he’s looking for a better way. The administration is holding off on making any major changes.

Tennessee has the Board of Regents and the University of Tennessee systems, which are both overseen – sort of – by the Higher Education Commission. There are redundancies and unnecessary competition, but Haslam says there’s also no simple solution. He held a series of roundtable discussions on the topic over the summer.

The governor has been looking at models in other states, and each seems to have it’s own pros and cons.

“It’s hard to get a lot of consensus about what is the best practice. So I’m continuing to have those conversations.”

This year the governor signed a law allowing him to appoint the head of the Higher Education Commission. However, he has kept the same person in that job and says he has no plan to make changes.

Governor Haslam says right now the only changes in higher education that may need legislative approval have to do with lottery scholarships.

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