“Transparency in Higher Education Act” Rolled for One Week; Expected to be Considered Next Week in the House Instruction & Programs Subcommittee

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students in a classroom
Legislation which would require each state higher education institution to list on its website the title, author, and publisher of all reading, video, and audio materials required for each course offered as part of an associate or baccalaureate degree program was rolled for one week in the House Education Instruction & Planning Subcommittee.

This legislation, HB2230/SB2180 by Rep. Bud Hulsey (R-Kingsport) and Sen. Frank Nicely (R-Strawberry Plains), would also require the institution to list all details of all required assignments for the students enrolled in each course.

The University has fiscal concerns with this legislation. With over 12,000 course sections each semester across the entire University of Tennessee System, this legislation would place a costly burden on the University to develop the information technology infrastructure needed to post the information required by this legislation.

All of the baseline course descriptions are currently available online. While syllabi for all individual courses/sections are not currently posted online, the information is public record and is available to any member of the public upon request.

While the University supports transparency efforts, we also must guard against increasing regulatory burden and unfunded mandates imposed by the state.  The costs of such burdens ultimately are passed to tuition payers if no state appropriations are made available for this endeavor.

This legislation will be heard in the House Education Instruction & Program Subcommittee next Wednesday. Debate can be live streamed here.

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