Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced that Mike Krause will join the Governor's Office as executive director of the Drive to 55 and Tennessee Promise initiatives.
Krause will lead and manage the launch and implementation of Tennessee Promise and oversee all Drive to 55 efforts, including the statewide Seamless Alignment and Integrated Learning Support (SAILS) early math remediation program, online innovation initiatives, Degree Compass expansion, adult student analytics and research, veteran education efforts, and the development of post-secondary scorecards.
Signed into law last week, the Tennessee Promise commits to providing two years of community college or a college of applied technology (TCAT) absolutely free of tuition and fees to graduating high school seniors beginning with the class of 2015. It is the signature component of Haslam's Drive to 55 push to increase the percentage of Tennesseans with post-secondary credentials to 55 percent by the year 2025.
"Now that the Tennessee Promise is law, the hard work of making it a reality begins, and I can't think of anyone better suited to bring expertise and enthusiasm to its launch than Mike Krause," Haslam said. "Mike has played a key role in developing and implementing Drive to 55 initiatives and the Tennessee Promise so far, and I'm excited to see these efforts grow with his guidance."
Krause will also develop appropriate metrics to assess the ongoing progress of the Drive to 55 initiatives and Tennessee Promise implementation.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at THEC, and it has been a privilege to focus on improving the lives of Tennesseans through higher education," Krause said. "I look forward to continuing this focus as our state expands opportunities through the Tennessee Promise and Drive to 55, and I'm honored to be asked to serve by the governor."
Krause currently serves as assistant executive director for academic affairs at the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, where he has coordinated THEC's work on Drive to 55, led the successful statewide expansion of SAILS, and pioneered state efforts in massive open online education.
Prior to THEC, Krause, 32, was a policy analyst for the Tennessee General Assembly. Before joining state government, he served for eight years in the U.S. Army and Tennessee Army National Guard. He completed three combat tours as a member of the 101st Airborne Division and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
An eighth generation Tennessean, Krause earned his bachelor's degree from Austin Peay State University and master's in public policy from Vanderbilt University. He and his wife, Chrissi, live in Thompson's Station and have a young son, Max. They are active members of St. Henry Church in Nashville.