NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Mike Krause, an assistant executive director at the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, has been appointed to head up Gov. Bill Haslam's initiatives to improve college graduation rates in the state.

Krause will manage the launch of the newly enacted Tennessee Promise program, which will cover community college tuition for any high school graduate in the state.

The free tuition offer is part of Haslam's "Drive to 55" plan to improve the state's graduation rates from the current 32 percent to 55 percent by the year 2025 in order to help improve overall job qualifications and attract employers to the state.

Krause is an Army veteran who was awarded the Bronze Star Medal during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was a legislative analyst before going to work in higher education policy.