House passes Haslam’s shakeup of Tennessee college boards

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee House has approved Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposal to give six public four-year universities their own boards.

The chamber voted 71-19 on Thursday to pass the measure despite misgivings raised by several lawmakers about whether the move could breed unhealthy competition among the schools for state funding, and make it more difficult for lower-profile universities to raise money.

The governor’s plan calls for creating local boards for Austin Peay in Clarksville; East Tennessee in Johnson City; Middle Tennessee in Murfreesboro; Tennessee Tech in Cookeville; Tennessee State in Nashville; and the University of Memphis. Those boards would control budgets, tuition and the selection of college presidents.

Supporters said local board members better reflect community interest.

The Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to take up the bill on Tuesday.

Copyright 2016 AP. All rights reserved.

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