Tag Archives: THEC

Mike Krause named new executive director of THEC

News release from the governor’s office
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced the appointment of Mike Krause as executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC).

Krause has served as executive director of the Drive to 55 since 2014 and successfully managed the launch and implementation of Tennessee Promise and the other initiatives under the Drive to 55 umbrella.

“Mike’s enthusiasm for higher education and his passion for making college accessible to all Tennesseans have led to the success of Tennessee Promise. He has been an instrumental part of my administration, leading our efforts to increase the number of Tennesseans with a postsecondary degree or certificate to 55 percent by 2025, and I know he will use that same drive and focus to help lead THEC during this exciting time for higher education in Tennessee,” Haslam said.

Dr. Russ Deaton, who has served as THEC’s interim executive director since the retirement of Dr. Richard Rhoda in 2014, will serve as deputy executive director of THEC. Deaton began at THEC in 2000 as a policy analyst and later served nine years as the director of fiscal policy analysis.

“I am grateful to Russ for his steady leadership at THEC over the past two years and excited that we’ll continue to have his depth of experience on our higher education team,” Haslam said.

Krause takes the helm at THEC as it assumes an enhanced role under the Focus On College and Student Success (FOCUS) Act, which charged THEC with providing greater coordination of Tennessee’s higher education systems across the state, including capital project management, institutional mission approval and higher education finance strategy.

Established in 1967, THEC oversees development of the state’s master plan for higher education, makes recommendations for capital appropriations in the governor’s budget, establishes tuition levels and approves new academic programs.

In addition, Krause will jointly lead the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC), which administers state and federal student financial assistance programs, including the state lottery scholarship program, which serves 100,000 students with $300 million in awards.

“Three years into our Drive to 55, we have more Tennesseans going to college and fewer students needing remediation once they get there. We’ve made remarkable progress in higher education under Governor Haslam’s leadership, and I am excited to work with our legislators, employers and higher education leaders to further leverage this momentum to benefit Tennesseans,” Krause said. ”In Tennessee, we’re working to make sure that every student – from the high school graduate to the returning adult – has the tools he or she needs to access and succeed in higher education and find a quality job in the workforce.”

Prior to directing the Drive to 55, Krause, 34, served as assistant executive director for academic affairs at THEC, where he led the successful statewide expansion of the SAILS (Seamless Alignment and Integrated Learning Support) program, pioneered state efforts in massive open online education and coordinated multiple grant programs.

Before joining state government, Krause served for eight years in the United States Army and Tennessee Army National Guard. He completed three combat tours as a member of the 101st Airborne Division and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

An eighth generation Tennessean, Krause earned his bachelor’s degree from Austin Peay State University and master’s in public policy from Vanderbilt University. He and his wife, Chrissi, live in Williamson County and have a young son, Max.

Krause joins THEC on August 1.

Arliss Roaden, former THEC executive director, dies aged 85

Arliss L. Roaden, who served as president of Tennessee Technological University from 1974 until 1985 and then almost a decade as executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, has died at age 85, according to the Cookeville Herald-Citizen.

At THEC, Roaden was initially appointed by then-Gov. Lamar Alexander and continued with Ned McWherter as governor.

The official obituary is HERE.

Excerpt from the Herald-Citizen:

Arliss was a member of Woodmont Baptist Church (in Nashville) for 30 years where he served as moderator and deacon and found great joy in singing in the choir and teaching Sunday school most of his life. Dr. Roaden enjoyed a distinguished career in education. He served as the executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, president of Tennessee Technological University, and dean of the graduate school and vice provost for Research at The Ohio State University. He was past chairman of the Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation and served on the board of trustees of Bryan College and the board of trustees of the National Center for Youth Issues. He also served as vice president of NCAA for Division I schools.

Beyond his work as an educator, Dr. Roaden has authored, and co-authored five books and numerous professional research articles. His passion for supporting youth led to his work with the Middle Tennessee Council of Boy Scouts of America and STARS, a school-based program that addresses youth problems of drugs, alcohol, and bullying.

He received the Resolution of Commendation from the Tennessee Legislature and the Centennial Medallion from The Ohio State University for Outstanding Faculty and Alumni. He also received the Outstanding Alumni Award from Cumberland University in Kentucky. The Roaden University Center at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville was named in his honor and the Ohio Valley of Athletic Conference inducted him into its Hall of Fame.

He is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Mary Etta Mitchell Roaden; daughter, Janice Skelton (John) of Columbus, Ohio; sister, Reba Moore (Herman) of Corbin, Ky.; four grandchildren, Michelle Muse (Steven), David Skelton (Amanda), Mindy Scibilia (Marc), Karen Bailey (Nick); and three great-grandchildren, Andrew Hagen, and Alexis and Emily Muse.

…Visiting hours will be from noon-2 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, with a celebration of life service to follow at 2 p.m. Visiting hours and celebration will both be held at Woodmont Baptist Church, 2100 Woodmont Blvd., Nashville, TN, 37215.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Arliss and Mary Etta Roaden Scholarship Fund, University Development, Tennessee Technological University, Campus Box 5047, 1000 N Dixie, Ave., Cookeville, TN, 38501-9921.

THEC seeks expansion of LEAP

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission is asking lawmakers to expand a $10 million grant program that paired employers with colleges to develop academic programs tailored to the needs of local job markets, reports The Tennessean.

In a report released Wednesday, the commission said the Labor Education Alignment Program, which doled out the grant funding to 12 different coalitions late in 2014, had shown “major growth and success in just the first year of implementation.”

But the commission urged lawmakers to provide added funding and attention during the upcoming legislative session.

Many of the LEAP grants paid for mechatronics equipment that duplicates the robotic fixtures of a modern assembly line for students who want to go into that field. The commission found that thousands of students across 51 counties had been reached by the first wave of grant funding, including:

-1,591 high school students who took dual-enrollment college courses that were funded or enhanced by a grant.

-630 students who enrolled in community or technical college programs supported by grant-funded equipment and professors.

– 13,363 students who participated in extracurricular programming, including internships, clubs or training.

Officials have said the program was motivated by complaints from Tennessee manufacturers who couldn’t find workers with enough hands-on experience to fill high-tech factory jobs. THEC’s report said that funding a larger number of coalitions moving forward would help expand the program’s impact.

NOTE: The report is HERE.

Higher ed, K-12 officials ask for more state funding

In budget hearings before Gov. Bill Haslam Tuesday, higher education officials said they might avoid tuition increases next year with an extra $86 million in state funding while K-12 Education Commissioner Candice McQueen asked for $57 million in new money, reports the News Sentinel.

Neither higher education’s $86 million request nor K-12’s $57 million includes money for teacher and staff pay raises; that’s a policy decision the governor and lawmakers will make early next year.

The requested increase for higher education includes $56.6 million more for operating the institutions and $28.6 million increase in need-based student financial aid (to a total of $103 million).

THEC estimates that if state appropriations for higher ed increase by $41 million, student tuition would need to rise 0.8 percent on average at the state’s universities, 3 percent at community colleges and 0.7 percent at the Tennessee colleges of applied technology (TCATs). No increase in state appropriations would require a 3.8 percent tuition increase at universities, 7 percent at community colleges and 10.2 percent at the TCATs.

…The governor was noncommittal on what he will recommend but he said the large tuition increases over the last 20 years underscore the state’s budget struggles.

“The state was putting less total money into education. A lost more of the state budget was going into Medicaid. That was true not just of Tennessee; it was true everywhere. We all own the problem and we all need to be part of coming up with the solution. Part of that is for the state to fund appropriately and part of that is for each campus to control their costs.”

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission also is requesting $370 million for eight major construction projects spread across the University of Tennessee and Board of Regents systems.

Higher ed seeks more state funding to avoid continuing tuition hikes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee higher education officials say they’ll be forced to continue raising tuition if the state doesn’t provide adequate funding to help with costs at their institutions.

Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan and University of Tennessee System President Joe DiPietro addressed Gov. Bill Haslam at a higher education budget hearing on Friday. The hearing was the last of several the Republican governor has held over the last couple of weeks.

Both officials noted that there hasn’t been a substantive increase in state funding in about 30 years. They’ve formed review committees to examine the financial picture of their systems going forward.

DiPietro says something needs to be done because it’s unfair to keep putting the cost burden on students and their families.

Haslam said the systems have a valid argument and that he and the Legislature will examine reports from their reviews.

Further from the News Sentinel:
DiPietro joined Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan and Higher Education Commission Executive Director Richard Rhoda in presenting a united front by higher education for a $71.4 million requested increase in state funding for higher education, including $29.4 million for more need-based student financial aid and $25.7 million in operating increases for the universities, community colleges and colleges of applied technology.

If state funding at that level eventually wins legislative approval, the higher education leaders said tuition increases for the 2015-16 academic year could be held to zero to 4 percent — and for the bulk of students, on the lower end of that range.

The Higher Education Commission also asked for $184 million for new building projects and $133 million for major maintenance projects throughout the higher education system.

DiPietro said he is disappointed a proposed new Science Laboratory Facility that UT Knoxville wants to build at the site of the former Strong Hall, on Cumberland at 16th, moved from first on THEC’s construction list last year to sixth on the new list. Its total cost is $102.5 million but UT has already raised its share of the costs and is asking the state to pay $83.7 million.

The top priority on the THEC construction list is $24.6 million for improvements at the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology statewide. The second is $15.9 million for a new West Tennessee 4-H Center to be operated by the UT Extension Service. “If we don’t buy it (the land) this year, the owners won’t be there next year,” DiPietro said.

Rich Rhoda retiring as THEC executive director

News release from the governor’s office:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced that Richard G. Rhoda, the executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) and the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC), will retire at the end of the year.

THEC oversees development of the state’s master plan for higher education, makes recommendations for capital appropriations in the governor’s budget, recommends tuition levels, approves new academic programs, and evaluates the state’s education lottery scholarship program. THEC coordinates functions of the Tennessee’s public higher education systems, which consists of nine universities, 13 community colleges and 26 technology centers.

TSAC administers state and federal student financial assistance programs and is a former student loan guaranty agency. The state lottery scholarship program serves 100,000 students with $300 million in awards.

“Rich has dedicated his career to higher education in Tennessee and has served the state well for more than 40 years,” Haslam said. “He has been a great partner in our Drive to 55 as we’ve put a focus on and resources toward more Tennesseans earning a certificate or degree beyond high school.

“I am grateful for his dedication and hope he will remain engaged in education issues in Tennessee as he moves into this next phase of life.”

Rhoda, 64, began his career with the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) as a member of the research staff in 1973. He has served as interim president at Austin Peay State University and Nashville State Community College, vice chancellor and acting chancellor of TBR, held several roles with Tennessee State University, and served on the faculty at Vanderbilt University.
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Haslam creates, fills position of XD for ‘Drive to 55’ and Tennessee Promise

News release from governor’s office:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced that Mike Krause will join the Governor’s Office as executive director of the Drive to 55 and Tennessee Promise initiatives.

Krause will lead and manage the launch and implementation of Tennessee Promise and oversee all Drive to 55 efforts, including the statewide Seamless Alignment and Integrated Learning Support (SAILS) early math remediation program, online innovation initiatives, Degree Compass expansion, adult student analytics and research, veteran education efforts, and the development of post-secondary scorecards.

Signed into law last week, the Tennessee Promise commits to providing two years of community college or a college of applied technology (TCAT) absolutely free of tuition and fees to graduating high school seniors beginning with the class of 2015. It is the signature component of Haslam’s Drive to 55 push to increase the percentage of Tennesseans with post-secondary credentials to 55 percent by the year 2025.

“Now that the Tennessee Promise is law, the hard work of making it a reality begins, and I can’t think of anyone better suited to bring expertise and enthusiasm to its launch than Mike Krause,” Haslam said. “Mike has played a key role in developing and implementing Drive to 55 initiatives and the Tennessee Promise so far, and I’m excited to see these efforts grow with his guidance.”

Krause will also develop appropriate metrics to assess the ongoing progress of the Drive to 55 initiatives and Tennessee Promise implementation.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at THEC, and it has been a privilege to focus on improving the lives of Tennesseans through higher education,” Krause said. “I look forward to continuing this focus as our state expands opportunities through the Tennessee Promise and Drive to 55, and I’m honored to be asked to serve by the governor.”

Krause currently serves as assistant executive director for academic affairs at the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, where he has coordinated THEC’s work on Drive to 55, led the successful statewide expansion of SAILS, and pioneered state efforts in massive open online education.

Prior to THEC, Krause, 32, was a policy analyst for the Tennessee General Assembly. Before joining state government, he served for eight years in the U.S. Army and Tennessee Army National Guard. He completed three combat tours as a member of the 101st Airborne Division and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

An eighth generation Tennessean, Krause earned his bachelor’s degree from Austin Peay State University and master’s in public policy from Vanderbilt University. He and his wife, Chrissi, live in Thompson’s Station and have a young son, Max. They are active members of St. Henry Church in Nashville.

Krause begins as executive director June 2.

Note: A gubernatorial spokesman says Krause’s salary will be $105,000 per year. Also, in his days as a policy analyst at the Legislature, he worked for Sen. Jim Kyle, D-Memphis.

Haslam appoints Randy Boyd to THEC

News release from governor’s office:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced the appointment of Randy Boyd of Knoxville to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC).

For the past year, Boyd has served as a full-time, unpaid special advisor to the governor for higher education, focusing on the “Drive to 55” initiative to bring the percentage of Tennesseans with college degrees or certifications to 55 percent by the year 2025. Boyd played a key role in developing the “Tennessee Promise,” the governor’s proposal to provide two years of community college or a college of applied technology (TCAT) absolutely free of tuition and fees to graduating high school seniors.

“Randy received a well-deserved standing ovation during my State of the State address on Monday because he has enthusiastically dedicated the past year of his life – at no cost to the state – to help more Tennesseans access and achieve a post-secondary degree. I thank him for his passion, his commitment, and for his willingness to serve on THEC as we continue the Drive to 55 and work to make the Tennessee Promise a reality for Tennessee families,” Haslam said.

“I’m honored to be able to serve and support the brilliant, passionate and hard-working people I’ve come to admire at THEC, and am happy that I can assume a part time role that will continue to support the Governor and our State’s mission of the Drive to 55,” Boyd said.

Boyd, 54, is chairman of Radio Systems Corporation, which he started in 1991. Radio Systems is headquartered in Knoxville and has more than 600 associates worldwide with offices in seven countries.
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Georgia College Sues THEC in Billboard Advertising Squabble

ATLANTA (AP) — A private college in northwest Georgia is suing Tennessee’s higher education commission in a dispute over billboard advertising.
Berry College says in the federal lawsuit that the Tennessee agency has threatened to sue the school if it continues to advertise in that state without registering and paying fees of more than $20,000 a year.
The Rome, Ga.-based school says it competes with Tennessee colleges and has advertised on at least one billboard in the state. It depicts two students in front of a college building with Berry’s name, website and the phrase “26,000 acres of opportunity.”
The Tennessee Higher Education Commission has threatened other schools with such requirements in order to reduce competition from out-of-state institutions, Berry maintains in the lawsuit. Other schools have removed their ads over the issue rather than risk civil and criminal sanctions, the school’s lawyers say.
Scott Sloan, the Tennessee agency’s general counsel, said Tuesday that agency officials have yet to review the lawsuit and had no immediate comment.
A law that’s central to the dispute is Tennessee’s Postsecondary Education Authorization Act (PEAA), which Berry says is being improperly used to keep out-of-state schools from advertising. The act requires postsecondary educational institutions “desiring to operate” in Tennessee to apply for authorization from the state agency, which involves the fees, the lawsuit states.
The Tennessee agency, Berry maintains, “has pursued this unconstitutional enforcement of the PEAA so as to protect in-state colleges and universities from fair competition by out-of-state institutions.”
“The overall effect of the Act, then, is to tax and chill the free speech rights of Berry and other out-of-state schools as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, in addition to violating their rights under the dormant Commerce Clause,” Berry’s complaint states. “The effect of the PEAA is to unconstitutionally burden and tax the free exercise of truthful commercial speech by Berry and other out-of-state colleges and universities.”
The lawsuit was filed this week in U.S. District Court in northern Georgia.
Lawyers for the college, about 70 miles northwest of Atlanta, are asking the court to block Tennessee from imposing fees or fines or taking legal action against the school for advertising in the state.

Comptroller Recommends Changes to Complete College Act

News release from state comptroller’s office:
Implementation of the Complete College Act of 2010 is going well, although there are steps that should be taken to improve the process, according to a report released today by the Comptroller’s Division of State Audit.
Auditors examined the efforts of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees and the Tennessee Board of Regents in implementing the law.
Under the law, public community colleges and universities are supposed to create “transfer pathways” – that is, blocks of class credits that are guaranteed to transfer from one higher education institution to another.
However, through the end of last year, transfer pathways had been created to accommodate only 23 majors.
The report recommends that transfer pathways be created for all available college majors, or else the Tennessee General Assembly may want to consider exempting some particularly challenging majors from the provisions of the law. The report also suggests that colleges and universities should place more emphasis on publicizing the available transfer pathways on their web sites.
The new law also requires funding for colleges and universities to be based on a formula that includes factors such as the number of students who graduate, as opposed to the number of students who enroll.
The report suggests that the Tennessee Higher Education Commission needs to provide more detail about what types of data higher education institutions need to submit in order to take advantage of the funding formula. Also, the report says those institutions should take additional steps to verify that the data they provide is accurate.
The law calls for the elimination of unnecessary redundancies in academic program offerings. The report recommends that the Tennessee Higher Education Commission be vigilant in ensuring redundancies are eliminated. If unneeded programs are not eliminated, the report says the General Assembly may wish to transfer authority for eliminating those programs from the Tennessee Board of Regents and the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.
“I am pleased that progress has been made, but this report clearly illustrates that there is more work to be done,” Comptroller Justin P. Wilson said. “I hope the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, Tennessee Board of Regents and University of Tennessee Board of Trustees will continue their efforts to implement these recommendations in order to make sure the law is put into practice in the manner in which our state legislators intended it to be.”
To view the report online, go to http://www.comptroller.tn.gov/repository/SA/pa11055.pdf

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