What does it mean that the universities remain part of the System, but aren’t governed by TBR or its policies?
A: The FOCUS Act essentially expands the governing boards for the State University and Community College System (referred to as the Tennessee Board of Regents) from one governing board — the Board of Regents – to include six additional boards of trustees, one for each university in the system. In the state’s higher education organization structure, the six universities will remain classified within the State University and Community College System. However, governance of the universities will shift to separate boards of trustees while the Board of Regents remains the governing body for the community colleges and colleges of applied technology that are also classified within the State University and Community College System. TBR will continue to approve operating budgets for universities and distribute funds to them; however, this review and approval is limited to ensuring each university can appropriately cover outstanding indebtedness. TBR program approval processes remain the same for TCATs and community colleges, but universities will no longer submit academic programs to the TBR board for approval. These changes will take place only after the university boards of trustees have been convened and have adopted their own policies.
OTHER QUESTIONS TO BE CONSIDERED: