While excited about his pending promise for high school graduates to get free access to community colleges, Gov. Bill Haslam said he’s open to negotiation over exactly what that program should look like.
He said he’s been peppered with questions and concerns over the last four days since announcing his “Tennessee Promise” plan, like how this would effect four-year schools, how the costs would work over time and ensuring the quality of community colleges.
“Some very fair questions are already brought up about that. We welcome most of the debate and the discussion about how to make our proposal better,” he told he told a room of reporters, editors and publishers Thursday at an event hosted by The Associated Press and the Tennessee Press Association in Nashville.
As proposed, the program would first kick in for the high school class of 2015, covering their tuition and fees left over after students have applied to federal grants. Funding would come from the state’s lottery reserve fund and be invested in an endowment.
Haslam later elaborated about the program, telling reporters he’s open to changes in the details so long as the legislature sticks to the bottom line.
“We’re open to ideas that might improve it as long this idea — that we can say that every Tennessean, that you can have two years of community college free — as long as that can happen, we’re really committed to seeing this work through,” he said.
WGU Tennessee will in April launch a new online master’s degree program in management and leadership to cater to mid-career professionals looking to sharpen their performance. The year-old college is sweetening the pot a bit with scholarships worth $2,000 over the program's four terms.
“This curriculum is designed to equip working adults with the leadership and organizational skills they need to manage and lead effectively,” WGU Tennessee’s chancellor, Dr. Kim Estep, said. “In order to be competitive in today’s business world, leaders must have strategic management skills, know how to develop high-performance teams, and create change.”
The leadership of Vanderbilt University on Friday said it has promoted the chief of its police department to associate vice chancellor and two executives in its Division of Finance to assistant vice chancellor. Police Chief August Washington, left in the photos below, has been at Vanderbilt since mid-2009, arriving from the University of Tennessee, and has been in law enforcement for 35 years. In VU's finance group, Deborah Janke and Shanmuga Sundaram have been named assistant vice chancellor for finance and IT and finance and administration, respectively. Both promotions are effective Feb. 1.
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine announced today that Dr. Andre L. Churchwell has been named senior associate dean for diversity affairs.
Previously the associate dean for diversity at VUSM, Churchwell is also a professor of medicine in cardiology, biomedical engineering and radiology and radiologic sciences.
Churchwell graduated magna cum laude from Vanderbilt in 1975 with a degree in engineering and from Harvard Medical School in 1979. Read more here.
The Chronicle of Higher Education has ranked university leaders based on their annual executive compensation, with Vanderbilt's Nicholas S. Zeppos, who is paid about $1.23 million, ranking No. 25. Zeppos is among the three best-paid leaders of Southeastern-based universities. By contrast, University of Chicago President Robert J. Zimmer, who ranks No. 1, is paid about $3.36 million per year. See the full list here.
The leaders of Middle Tennessee State University and Alabama A&M University on Friday signed an agreement to collaborate more closely on research into aerospace, agriscience and engineering projects. MTSU will provide A&M students with access to programs in engineering management, computational science and aerospace, while MTSU students will get access to A&M's engineering programs.
Officials said the three-year agreement builds upon two successful collaborations between the two universities: Both are partners in a consortium for a federal Unmanned Aircraft Systems test site as well as a three-year National Science Foundation-funded Partnership for Innovation in Technology grant.
Anesthesiologists at Vanderbilt University have received a $3 million grant from the GE Foundation that will help them continue a program of medical education and research in Kenya and other parts of the world. The grant will let young Vanderbilt anesthesiologists continue to travel to Kenya annually to both train and to educate others in anesthesia and pain management services.
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