University of Tennessee Institute for American Civics comes together

An academic unit reshaping American civics education at Tennessee’s largest public university is turning from a long-discussed idea into a codified entity.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced the Institute of American Civics at the University of Tennessee during his annual State of the State address, saying it will create more “informed patriots” and be “a beacon celebrating intellectual diversity at our universities.”

When it was announced, little was known about the center, although it’s been in discussion with the governor and legislators since at least last year, according to Rep. Mark White, R-Memphis. The Tennessee Higher Education Commission confirmed that it would initially be housed at the UT Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, and Lee said in his speech that it would cost taxpayers an estimated $6 million for the first year and $ 4 million in the following years.

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