The Tennessee Board of Regents today appointed Dr. Jon D. Mandrell as president of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology Murfreesboro, effective July 1.
Mandrell is currently vice president of academics and student services at Sauk Valley Community College in Dixon, Ill., where he has worked in teaching and administrative roles since 2008.
He was recommended for the Murfreesboro presidency by TBR Chancellor Flora W. Tydings following a national search led by a 13-member Search Advisory Committee appointed by the Board in March. The committee was composed of three members of the Board of Regents and representatives of the college’s faculty, staff, students, the community and local business.
The Board convened today for a special called meeting to consider the chancellor’s recommendation and voted 12-0 to appoint Mandrell.
Tydings thanked the search committee for its work. “I feel Dr. Mandrell is the best choice going forward for TCAT Murfreesboro and the success of its students. He brings a great deal of energy and enthusiasm that I know the students, administration and community will embrace,” the chancellor said.
Regent Joey Hatch of Brentwood, who chaired the search committee, made the motion to approve the appointment, which was seconded by Regent Yolanda Greene of Murfreesboro, also a member of the committee along with Regent Fran Marcum of Tullahoma.
“I’m very much looking forward to being a part of the Drive to 55 and driving student success and collaborating with all stakeholders, including industry, chambers of commerce, K-12 and local college and university partners, and our partner at the Smyrna campus, Nissan,” Mandrell said. “I am eager to work with the great faculty and staff at TCAT Murfreesboro. I’m also very much looking forward to being a part of workforce development in the state and responding to community needs. I’m excited to be in Tennessee, which is the benchmark for higher education right now and a progressive state in higher education.”
Drive to 55 is the state’s initiative to increase the number of adult Tennesseans with college degrees or other postsecondary credential to 55 percent by 2025. Gov. Bill Haslam, who launched Drive to 55 in 2013, said in his State of the State address in January that Tennessee is on a path to reach the goal two years early, in 2023.
“It was a great decision among the search committee to bring Dr. Mandrell to Murfreesboro,” Greene said. “We’re all looking forward to him and his family being there and being a great part of the community.”
The president is the chief executive officer of the college, reporting to the Board of Regents through the chancellor. Dr. Lynn Kreider retired Feb. 28 after serving as president of TCAT Murfreesboro since 2012 and a 25-year career in higher education. Dr. Carol Puryear, TBR vice chancellor for economic and community development and a former director of TCAT Murfreesboro, is serving as interim president until the new president takes office.
TCAT Murfreesboro serves students in Rutherford and parts of six surrounding counties. It has a branch campus in Smyrna, a $46 million facility that opened in early 2017 and which also houses the Nissan Training Center in a public-private partnership with the auto manufacturer.
Mandrell earned Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degrees in law enforcement and justice administration from Western Illinois University, and a Doctor of Education degree in community college leadership from Ferris State University in Michigan.
He began his career in education as an adjunct instructor at Sauk Valley in 2008, teaching courses in criminal justice, juvenile delinquency, and cultural diversity in criminal justice, and assisting students with honors projects. A year later, in 2009, he became a full time assistant professor of criminal justice, and in 2012, was named dean of instructional services. In 2014, he was appointed dean of academics and student services. The title was elevated to vice president of academic and student services in January 2016.
Mandrell served as a police corporal from 2003 to 2009 in the Oregon, Illinois, Police Department.
He has authored more than two dozen professional presentations, publications and media articles and has participated in numerous volunteer and community services. He serves on the boards of the Sauk Valley Community Leadership Program, the Sauk Valley Area Chamber of Commerce and the Dixon Family YMCA, and is a member and president-elect of the Twin Cities Rotary Club.
He is married to Dr. Kelly Mandrell, also a professional educator, and the couple has two daughters, Laynie and Macie.
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.