Bill would create overseer of higher education

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Republican state lawmakers are proposing legislation to create an entity that would examine operations within Tennessee's higher education systems.

The legislation scheduled in the House State Government Subcommittee on Wednesday would create the Office of Higher Education Ombudsman within the office of the state Comptroller of the Treasury.

It also would establish the position of Higher Education Inspector General within the ombudsman's office, which is estimated to cost $504,300, according to a legislative summary of the bill.

The salary and benefits alone for the inspector general's position is expected to cost $123,000.

The person's job would be to "examine financial and policy compliance" within the University of Tennessee and state Board of Regents systems and annually report to the chairs of the education committees in the House and Senate.

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