Haslam names leader of Drive to 55, Tennessee Promise

THEC exec to start new job in early June

Gov. Bill Haslam has tapped a top Tennessee Higher Education Commission executive to lead the state’s new Drive to 55 and Tennessee Promise initiatives.

Mike Krause will join the Governor’s Office as executive director of the higher education programs early next month. He will lead and manage the launch and implementation of Tennessee Promise and oversee all Drive to 55 efforts, including its early math remediation program, online programs and the development of post-secondary scorecards.

Tennessee Promise, which was signed into law last week, commits to providing two free years of community college or a college of applied technology to graduating high school seniors beginning with the class of 2015. It is a key part of Haslam’s plan to lift 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, 32, is currently the assistant executive director for academic affairs at THEC, where he has, among other things, coordinated THEC’s work on Drive to 55 to date and focused on massive open online education in the state. Before joining THEC, Krause was a policy analyst for the Tennessee General Assembly and a member of the U.S. Army and Tennessee Army National Guard. A graduate of both Austin Peay State University and Vanderbilt University, he and his family live in Thompson’s Station.