Bill Haslam introduces higher education changes in State of the State address


Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam spoke on Friday, January 9 at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville. Haslam spoke on "Tennessee Promise," an initiative to provide free community college to Tennesseans. (Greg French/MTSU Sidelines)

Photo by Greg French / Sidelines Archive

Governor Bill Haslam announced widespread changes for Tennessee higher education in the annual State of the State address before the Tennessee General Assembly on Monday evening.

According to a press release from University President Sidney A. McPhee, MTSU performed an analysis of the address and its direct effects on the university.

The press release states that Haslam’s plan allows for a 3 percent salary pool for MTSU employees based on $3 million of diverted funds. The salary pool will come into effect July 1 and if accepted, it will be approved by the MTSU Board of Trustees.

“I have been making the case to our state legislative leaders and the executive branch for quite some time regarding the importance of improving salaries for our employees,” McPhee states in the press release. “This 3 percent salary pool is a step in the right direction.”

The release also discusses a new program Haslam hopes to introduce that will allow adults to receive free community college, which works as an extension of the “Tennessee Promise” program established in 2015. The new program is titled Tennessee Connect, and it provides community advisors for adults who are entering or returning to college.

Another similar program mentioned in the press release is the TN STRONG program. TN STRONG is a tuition reimbursement program aimed to assist National Guard members who wish to earn their degree.

MTSU was also allowed $8.9 million for five capital maintenance projects submitted by the university.

Through all of these changes, the press release states that the university will be working on “a very tight budget.” The recommended preliminary tuition increase is zero to four percent, but the range will eventually be set by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

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To contact News Editor Brinley Hineman, email newseditor@mtsusidelines.com.

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1 Comment

  1. […] Bill Haslam introduces higher education changes in State of the State address (MTSU Sidelines) Governor Bill Haslam announced widespread changes for Tennessee higher education in the annual State of the State address before the Tennessee General Assembly on Monday evening. According to a press release from University President Sidney A. McPhee, MTSU performed an analysis of the address and its direct effects on the university. The press release states that Haslam’s plan allows for a 3 percent salary pool for MTSU employees based on $3 million of diverted funds. The salary pool will come into effect July 1 and if accepted, it will be approved by the MTSU Board of Trustees. http://mtsusidelines.com/2017/02/bill-haslam-introduces-higher-education-changes-in-state-of-the-sta… […]

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