Randy Boyd: Immigration Status Is Irrelevant to Filling Seats in Our State Colleges

Speaking to a Mount Juliet Chamber of Commerce meet and greet on Thursday morning, Republican gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd said that while he does not support the current in-state tuition bill under consideration in the Tennessee General Assembly, immigration status of student should be irrelevant when it comes to filling seats in Tennessee’s state colleges and universities.

“Do you support the legislature’s bill on in-state tuition?” one of the attendees at the meet and greet asked the Knoxville businessman.

“No. I don’t think the state of Tennessee should be supplying or paying in-state benefits to people that are not in-state,” Boyd responded.

The current bill proposed by State Rep. Mark White actually provides in-state tuition rates to illegal immigrant students by redefining what a public benefit is.

“Having said that, though, I think, it’s the kind of nuance that, I want to bring more people from all over the country and all over the world to the state of Tennessee, and our out-of-state tuition is really out of line,” Boyd continued, adding:

Our out-of-state tuition is 300 percent the cost of our in-state tuition. And in-state-tuition is profitable. So it’s basically, if you were a hotel room, and you charged 100 dollars for the room, and you’re down to your last 30 percent of your rooms, and they were empty, if you’re a hotel, what do you do?

You usually discount them to fill because your variable cost is fairly small.

We’re kind of that way with our universities, and with the exception of one or two, like Vanderbilt, which is private, and the University of Tennessee, which is oversubscribed, but most others, we have a capacity issue, we have lots of extra room.

If we charge them the full price, 100 dollars, we make money, so it’s profitable.

So I don’t know that we need to provide subsidized benefits, but if we just charge them the full price, it’s still less money than they have to pay now, and the state of Tennessee makes money.

“Beyond that, in the bigger picture, the state of Tennessee needs more talent. We need to bring more people in to the state of Tennessee, and I want to bring people in from Kentucky and Mississippi, and from wherever in the world they want to come from,” Boyd concluded. (emphasis added)

You can listen to the audio of this conversation here:

Critics say Boyd actually wants White’s bill to pass this session so that he can say, if elected governor, that he is only enforcing the law when he offers in-state tuition to illegal immigrant students.

“It is painfully obvious that Randy Boyd doesn’t understand Higher Education funding in Tennessee,” Diane Black campaign spokesperson Chris Hartline told The Tennessee Star.

“In-state tuition fees bring in slightly over a third of the real costs to Tennessee taxpayers. Out of state tuition isn’t charged to punish anybody but simply to cover actual cost. Surely he understands that? Or maybe he hopes voters don’t get it,” he added.

“Diane Black has a proven record of fighting for taxpayers and against those who can always justify more of our money,” Black spokesperson Hartline concluded.

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13 Thoughts to “Randy Boyd: Immigration Status Is Irrelevant to Filling Seats in Our State Colleges”

  1. Wolf Woman

    La Raza Randy is clueless, a hack politician who blah, blah, blahs slimy replies that really don’t speak to the subject he was asked. But if you look carefully, what he said can be construed that if illegals live in Tennessee then they should get in-state tuition.

    He’s a globalist who’s dream, he says, is to bring anyone in the world into Tennessee. So does it matter whether they get here legally or not? He doesn’t say, does he. Meanwhile, our roads, our bridges, infrastructure, the foundations of our cities are falling apart. But La Raza Randy doesn’t care. He’ll lie, obfuscate and wiggle around the truth, anything to get the votes he needs to get elected.

    And if he’s elected, we’ll see more illegals pouring in, more refugees who don’t want to assimilate, more crime, more bad schools, higher taxes, and the increase of poverty of the baby boomers on a fixed income.

    Tennesseans deserve a smarter and more sympathetic governor than La Raza Randy whose values and goals would make Middle Tennessee like Mexico City.

    1. Horatio Bunce

      Mexico City…..or Morristown. Hamblen County public schools are now over 25% hispanic and over 10% functionally illiterate in English. I’m sure they can make the cut in TN 4-year public universities though – where thanks to Common Core and the Bredesen/Woodson TN College and Career Ready Act they no longer are allowed to offer remedial courses. That was pushed down to the “free” community colleges. That might also have something to do with those empty seats.

      How about user fees for “free” K-12 education? Are they making a profit at the $10k/year average in TN?

  2. Brian McMurphy

    Mealy mouthed waffling and hair splitting.

    Exactly what I’ve come to expect from TN Republicrats.

    When will Boyd nail down the coveted Corker and Fincher endorsements.

  3. Stuart I. Anderson

    Poor Randy!. He wants to be governor so bad but he is so out of step with the majority of voters in this state that he has to bob and weave through the issues. Be assured fellow conservatives, if Randy! is elected governor the bobbing and weaving will stop and we will be faced with as much as eight years of complaining, screaming, petitioning, demonstrating, and carrying on a steady correspondence with our state senator and representative.

    That’s exactly what will happen if conservatives split theIr vote among the other three gubernatorial candidates while the Democrats who will vote in the open Republican primary (ready to close them yet?) as well as the centrist Republicans vote for Randy!. There’s only one answer, please tell the pollsters who’s your favorite for governor when they call and lets see who has the best chance of beating Randy! on election day, then all conservatives vote for that candidate because its ANYBODY BUT BOYD.

  4. Jeb

    Randy Boyd just lost my vote

  5. Kevin

    Randy Boyd is delusional! Page B-131 of Governor Haslam’s 2016-2017 budget, shows “tuition/fees” accounting for $1.7 billion of the $4.1 billion dollar “higher education” budget! Meaning citizens already subsidize $2.4 billion! AND this doesn’t include the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on “capital improvements” for college buildings! Also, just so you know, total State contributions to TDOT (roads) in 2016-2017, was $800 million. So Haslam believes “user fees” should be used to fund roads, why aren’t colleges funded by user fees?

    1. 83ragtop50

      Kevin – excellent analysis.

  6. Steve L.

    So if State schools need seats filled, offer out of state students discounted tuition based on ACT score’s above University averages. What is wrong with folks like Boyd? AMERICAN CITIZENS deserve first crack at EVERYTHING funded by tax payer dollars. Tennessee citizens first, surrounding states next, and any American citizen to fill it out. And if we have too many seats to fill after that approach, we should shutdown some of the community colleges and replace them with Technical Schools.
    I am sorry Mae is out, too. Tennessee lost its own Greg Abbott. I am starting to lean towards Bill Lee.

  7. John Bumpus

    In my opinion, Randy Boyd is another mulit-millionaire East Tennessee Republican RINO (probably really just a Dem who now says that he is a Republican) who wants to ‘buy his way’ into the Tennessee Governor’s Office if Tennessee Republicans are ‘DUMB ENOUGH’ to ‘buy’ his schtick come GOP primary time!

    Moreover, Diane Black is still another mulit-millionaire Tennessee Republican RINO who is just as bad as Boyd! And by the way, Black is a native of Maryland who grew-up in Maryland, and attended and graduated from a Community College in Maryland before she came to Tennessee–this should tell you something about Black’s politics!

    In my opinion, Tennessee Republicans would be well advised to avoid both Boyd and Black.

    I am so sorry that Mae Beavers was driven from the race by the foregoing two BIG MONEY candidates! She was a TRUE CONSERVATIVE AND THE REAL DEAL. Too bad! Too bad!

    As for Lee and Harwell, we’ll see! We still have time to properly assess each one of these two, but in my opinion the jury is now partly ‘in’ on Harwell–although she seems like a nice person, her performance in the Tennessee House of Representatives as Speaker somewhat betrays her! Maybe the best that can be said about Harwell is that as Speaker at times she exercised very bad judgment.

    1. Papa

      Well said! They are called “illegals” for a reason. They became a criminal under federal law when they entered this country. Only a liberal would support a criminal! I believe Boyd and Black would take Tennessee too far to the left. I’m learning about Boyd but I have never voted for Black and I live in her district. The way she was elected was unethical. I don’t trust her!

    2. 83ragtop50

      Harwell has proven to be worse than Black. Boyd is a flaming liberal who puts illegals ahead of citizens. Lee sounds like a nice guy but some of his early remarks makes me doubt his conservatism. I agree that Mae Beavers was the best conservative choice but as always in politics money wins out.

      I do not care for Black but she has my vote at this time.

    3. Karen Bracken

      I agree about Mae Beavers. She was our only real hope to restore the Constitution in Tennessee. She had great plans for education too. Lee and Harwell are also more of the same. Kay White is also running but of course you don’t hear anything about her because she isn’t one of the good old boys. ME…..I am AGAIN voting for Coonrippy the Independent candidate.

      1. Stuart I. Anderson

        If you agree with Mae, I beg you not to throw your vote away only to see Randy! become governor representing everything you hate. I agree, we don’t have a movement conservative running for governor but tepid conservatives like Black and Harwell will sure be easier to deal with for conservatives than a centrist like Randy!.

        It’s a long time until election day. Please contemplate what eight years of Randy! will be like and don’t throw your vote away. KAREN, CONSERVATIVES NEED YOU to vote ANYBODY (who has a chance to win) BUT BOYD.