Aggressive Pragmatism

Article Inside Higher Ed

Bill Haslam wasn’t sold on the idea of two years of tuition-free community college when he first heard it.

That was back in 2008, when the Republican, now governor of Tennessee, was Knoxville’s mayor. Mike Ragsdale, who was then mayor of the surrounding Knox County, made the pitch to Haslam.

Ragsdale was among a group of local leaders who were trying to create a private scholarship to cover the tuition costs for high school graduates who wanted to attend community and technical college.