Governor Bill Lee Holds Higher Education Budget Hearing

Randy Boyd Testifying

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) shared its FY 23-24 higher education funding recommendations with Governor Bill Lee on Thursday, November 10. The proposed spending plan includes record increases in operating funds and capital projects for the University of Tennessee. It also recommends fully funding the state’s performance-based formula at $150M to recognize improved outcomes at public higher education institutions.

President Randy Boyd represented the UT System at the hearing and answered questions from the governor. President Boyd had the opportunity to talk about the success of UT’s newest campus, UT Southern, sharing how student enrollment is up 6.6% and first-year retention increased by 11.8%. President Boyd also highlighted the importance of THEC’s request for a $13.66M operating increase for the UT Health Science Center. The UT Health Science Center is the largest educator of healthcare professionals in Tennessee, and this operating increase will be a critical investment for the University and healthcare in Tennessee.

THEC’s higher education budget hearing marks a crucial first step in the state budget process since Gov. Lee will consider these priorities for his budget proposal. The governor’s budget proposal is generally released following the State of the State Address, likely in late January or early February. UT Advocates can watch the budget hearing on the governor’s website.