“Transparency in Higher Education Act” Passes House Floor; Awaits Senate Floor Vote

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students in a classroom

HB2230/SB2180 passed on the House floor this week with a significant amendment that re-writes the bill, effectively alleviating concerns previously voiced by universities across the state.

The bill, as amended, requires Tennessee’s public colleges and universities to post to their websites information regarding parents’ rights to student records under the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).

In its original form, the bill would have posed vast reporting requirements on public universities and faculty across the state. It required public colleges and universities to post to their websites standardized information about each course and course section offered each semester, including every assigned reading, audio recording, or video required for the course as well as the details of each “required” course assignment. The UT System has over 24,000 individual course sections each year.

The bill also originally contained a maintenance requirement so that if any course requirements changed during the semester, the materials posted online also must change.

UT led negotiations with House sponsor Rep. Bud Hulsey (R-Kingsport) on re-writing the bill, and appreciates his willingness to hear concerns and accept significant amendatory language.

The measure is expected to be heard next week on the Senate floor, but it has yet to be calendared.

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