Board approves criteria for next president of TCAT Knoxville

Signing Day at TCAT Knoxville

The Tennessee Board of Regents today approved criteria for the next president of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Knoxville.

President Dwight E. Murphy is resigning as president of TCAT Knoxville effective Dec. 31. He  has served a dual role as president of TCAT Knoxville and TCAT Oneida/Huntsville for six years, and is resigning as president of the Knoxville campus only, remaining as head of the Scott County campuses.

TBR Chancellor Flora W. Tydings said a Search Advisory Committee composed of representatives of the college community and the community at large will be appointed to assist in the search. The committee will be chaired by Regent Danni Varlan of Knoxville and will include Regents Tom Griscom and Joey Hatch as members.

The Search Advisory Committee will review applicants for the position, conduct interviews and submit up to three finalists to the chancellor, who will interview them further, gather input from the campus community and recommend one candidate to the Board for its consideration. The full Board appoints presidents of all 13 community colleges and 27 colleges of applied technology in the College System of Tennessee, which the Board governs.

Tydings said the goal is to have a new president in place on the Knoxville campus Jan. 1.

Meeting by telephone conference call, the Board unanimously approved a set of criteria for the next president, including a requirement of at least a master’s degree from an accredited institution. The full criteria, and application and nomination information, will be posted soon on the TBR website at

The meeting was the first for two new members of the Board of Regents recently appointed by Gov. Bill Haslam. Board Vice Chair Emily J. Reynolds recognized and welcomed new Student Regent Carlos Gonzales, an accounting and math major at Pellissippi State Community College, and new Faculty Regent Robert Pepper, a machine tool technology instructor at TCAT Whiteville. Regent Pepper fills the non-voting faculty member for the next year and Regent William Summons, a math professor at Southwest Tennessee Community College, moves into the voting faculty member position.

TCAT Knoxville enrolls more than 1,700 students per year, in about 20 technical training programs. Its main campus is on Liberty Street west of downtown Knoxville, and it offers programs at four other teaching locations. The college will also offer programs at two new higher education facilities under development in Anderson County and Blount County.

The College System of Tennessee is the state’s largest public higher education system, with 13 community colleges, 27 colleges of applied technology and the online TN eCampus serving approximately 140,000 students. The system is governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.