No new governing board for University of Tennessee

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has a plan that would “create independent governing boards for the six universities overseen by the Tennessee Board of Regents.”

That does not include the state’s flagship school, the University of Tennessee (UT).

Haslam presented his plan last month to the delight of many of the state’s lawmakers as they have asked for years to create independent governing boards for some of the state’s colleges and universities.

But there was speculation that UT may be included in that shuffle.

Haslam put those fears to rest at a press conference on Tuesday, stating that because UT is so different, it will continue to operate as such.

“The UT system is very different than TBR,” Haslam said. “You got 46 [TBR] institutions versus either four or six, depending on how you define UT with three campuses, the med school, the two institutes.”

The governor did, however, talk about the uniqueness of the University of Tennessee–Chattanooga.

Because the school has thrived under the UT system–its enrollment “has more than doubled to more than 10,000”–there are discussions of creating an independent board for the school.

Not sure if it is likely to happen, but because the school’s president believes that it has its own identity under UT’s belt, it may be just fine as it stands. I just hope this initiative of Governor Haslam makes the intended impact and that in the end it helps educate the disadvantaged students of the state, giving them a shot at an affordable college education.

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