Bill to close college board meetings fails in Tennessee House subcommittee

Published 4:05 pm Thursday, March 21, 2024

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By Adam Friedman

Tennessee Lookout

Legislation to allow public college boards to close meetings to discuss “sensitive” matters will not proceed after a House subcommittee killed the bill Monday.

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The House’s Higher Education Subcommittee voted 4-3 against the legislation, with the two Democrats on the panel voting in favor of it and four of the five Republicans in attendance voting against it.

The bill would have allowed college boards to conduct executive closed sessions to discuss “sensitive topics.” Officials with Middle Tennessee State University initiated the legislation.

But the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government opposed the bill because of its broad language. The bill, brought by Rep. Mark White, R-Memphis, had no requirement for boards to reveal what they discussed and allowed them to have deliberations in private.