Gov. Bill Haslam says he likely will vote this week for double-digit tuition increases for students at state universities and two-year community colleges.
The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees meets Thursday and the Board of Regents meets Friday to consider raising tuition by as much as 12 percent. Haslam acts as chairman of both boards.
“I probably will” vote for the increases, Haslam told reporters Tuesday. “I haven’t gone to the meeting yet, so we’ll see. I always reserve the right. But I would tend to say I would.”
Haslam said higher education suffers from decreasing state funding. But he also said administrators need to find new ways to cut costs and raise money privately.
“I think both systems understand that pricing middle-class families out of the education system is an issue,” the governor said. “But part of their issue is the state giving them less and less money. That’s just the reality. We’re going to have to figure out a way to address that.
“The pressure is on them to not say, 'Well, the way we’re going to solve the funding issue is to always have double-digit increases.' That can’t be the answer,” he added.