Governor Names Karen Ward To WGU Tennessee Advisory Board

Wednesday, August 07, 2013
Karen Ward
Karen Ward

Governor Bill Haslam and Western Governors University have named Karen Ward to the advisory board of WGU Tennessee, an accredited, nonprofit, online university aimed at expanding access to higher education for Tennesseans.

Ms. Ward is senior vice president and chief human resources officer for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. She is responsible for properties and corporate services as well as human resources functions across all lines of business for the company, which employs 5,400 workers across the state.

Additionally, Kimberly K. Estep, Ph.D., has been named WGU Tennessee’s chancellor. Estep joins the university after serving as vice president for academic affairs and student services at Nashville State Community College. A graduate of Auburn University, she has more than 25 years’ experience in higher education as both a professor and an administrator. She will be based in WGU Tennessee’s main office in Nashville but will work with higher-education, community, and business leaders throughout the state to increase awareness and establish partnerships.

Other members of the advisory board, which is tasked with providing strategic counsel and guidance to WGU Tennessee, are:

 · John Ingram (chairman), chairman and CEO, Ingram Industries, Nashville

· Jerry Askew, Senior VP, Government Relations, Tennova, Knoxville

· Shannon A. Brown, senior vice president/chief human resources and diversity officer, FedEx Express, Memphis

· David A. Golden, senior vice president, chief legal officer, and Corporate Secretary, Eastman, Kingsport

· Thom Mason, director, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge

· Jim McIntyre, superintendent, Knoxville County Schools, Knoxville

· Ralph Schulz, president and CEO, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Nashville

· John Steele, senior VP, Human Resources, HCA, Nashville Shannon Brown, senior vice president/chief human resources and diversity officer, FedEx Express, Memphis

· Blair Taylor, president, Memphis Tomorrow, Memphis

Kimberly Estep
Kimberly Estep

Walk At School Event At Red Bank Elementary Friday

Red Bank Elementary students have been participating in walk to school day events.   On Friday, the 5th graders are doing a surprise "flash mob" dance on the last song at 2 p.m.  (click for more)

Tennessee Releases 2014 State Report Card

The 2014 state Report Card­­­­, posted  Thursday  on the Tennessee Department of Education website, offers users the ability to view detailed breakdowns of last year’s student achievement growth and other important data points. The 2014 Report Card features a variety of tabs including growth or value-added data, accountability, and education climate. A College and ... (click for more)

Downtown Chattanooga Apartment Complex That Brought $3 Million Profit Exempt From Most Taxes Until 2022 Under PILOT

A downtown Chattanooga apartment complex that recently was sold at a $3 million profit is exempt from most property taxes through 2022 under a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement.   No payment of school taxes was included in the deal for Walnut Commons at Walnut Street and Aquarium Way.   The only taxes due on the property for the next eight ... (click for more)

Chickamauga Lock To Reopen As Soon As Next Thursday

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District  plans to reopen Chickamauga Lock to all navigation traffic as early as next Thursday. An inspection of the upper gate anchorage and a repair plan were completed today. Chickamauga Lock closed on Monday after a routine inspection revealed a crack in the anchorage of the upper gate. Lt. Col. John Hudson, commander ... (click for more)

A Vote For Education Is Critical In Tennessee

In a state where just 28 percent of eighth graders are proficient in math and 33 percent are proficient in reading according to national assessments, education is deserving of more attention in 2014 elections. Across the country, more parents are making informed decisions about their child’s education, but for Volunteer State parents without resources, choices are difficult to come ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Saban: ‘Ratings Don’t Matter’

When the first College Football Playoff rankings were released earlier this week, Alabama football coach Nick Saban got it right on the button when he shrugged, “I don't even care, to be honest with you." "To me, none of it matters, What does it matter?” he laughed at the Tide’s No. 6 ranking. “I mean, it only matters where you end up at the end. So what matters to us is how ... (click for more)