11:29am

Wed August 29, 2012
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Governor Concludes Higher-Ed Listening Sessions

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has wrapped up a series of meetings that focused on the future of the state’s higher education system.

Beginning in June, the governor held listening sessions in seven cities from Blountville in the far northeast to Memphis in the southwest. Haslam sought comment from educators, business leaders and legislators.

In a press statement released Tuesday, Haslam said that while Tennessee’s universities, colleges and technical schools do have some “productive programs and partnerships in place,” schools need to do a better job of providing students with the job skills the state’s employers are demanding.

State Senator Bill Ketron recently told WMOT News that reforming higher education in Tennessee will be a focus of the legislative session that begins this winter.

We’re probably the only state in the union that has three governing bodies for higher Ed -- the Board of Regents, the Trustees for the University of Tennessee, and THEC – the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. So we’ll be lookin’ hard at that.”

Governor Haslam says the state also has a role to play in reforming higher education, suggesting that Tennessee needs to be more “intentional about allocating funding and resources.”