Pruning higher education in Tennessee

It bothers me that politicians who had liberal arts majors as undergraduates and attended college when it was inexpensive now want to change the playing field.  Incentives work so perhaps we'll get funding bonuses for each program we cut.  And if you read the rest of Kevin Hardy's article in The Chattanooga Times Free Press, you'll learn that Unum's vice president for human resources really doesn't like sports management majors....

Governor: Cut some higher ed programs to fund new ones

To get state funding for new programs in Tennessee higher education, older ones will have to go. 
"What we want to know is: If you want to invest in something new, creative, what are you going to divest? Most great businesses do that," Gov. Bill Haslam said Thursday at a roundtable of legislators and business and higher education leaders in Chattanooga. 
Still, while he said he's committed to ending Tennessee's decades-long practice of slashing post-secondary education funding, it doesn't appear that new funding will be available anytime soon. 
Haslam spoke at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in the seventh and last in a series of statewide discussions. The listening tour was meant to inform the governor's policy decisions as he sets out to overhaul higher education. 
With continued cost increases, particularly for Medicaid, Haslam said, colleges and universities must prioritize where they spend their money. The state has cut higher education funding for decades, putting more burden on families and students through tuition and fee hikes. 
"When we look at capital for post-secondary education, we're going to look at: Are we putting that where the demand is? ... I think you'll see us funding post-secondary education more strategically because of some of these conversations," Haslam said. 
"Part of the issue is on us. And part of it's on post-secondary to figure out how we're going to do this in a more effective way."


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