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Lawmakers OK new board appointments at 6 public universities

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The House and Senate have approved Gov. Bill Haslam's nominations for new boards for six public universities.

The new boards are part of the Republican governor's initiative to spin six four-year public universities out of the Tennessee Board of Regents system. Each board will control budgets, tuition and the selection of university presidents.

The schools involved are Austin Peay in Clarksville; East Tennessee State in Johnson City; Middle Tennessee State in Murfreesboro; Tennessee Tech in Cookeville; Tennessee State in Nashville; and the University of Memphis.

Haslam's appointments include former Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey; NASA astronaut Butch Wilmore; retired Army Gen. Gary Luck; former University of Memphis interim president Brad Martin; and Democratic fundraiser Bill Freeman.