Republican lawmakers are second-guessing a $5 million venture by Governor Bill Haslam to create an online university for Tennesseans.
Haslam introduced the proposal to bring a branch of Western Governor’s University to Tennessee during his State of the State address in January. It is part of a broader push to increase college completion rates.
During legislative budget hearings, senators asked why such a program would cost $5 million. Knoxville’s Stacey Campfield pointed out the state’s colleges already offer classes online.
“Well, my first question was what is WGU going to do, that our other universities can’t do.”
A spokesperson from the governor’s office says Western Governor’s University is particularly suited for part-time students and those who need to complete a degree. The administration estimates 800,000 Tennesseans started college but never finished.