Board of Regents appoints Laura Travis President of Tennessee College of Applied Technology Dickson

Board of Regents appoints Laura Travis President of TCAT Dickson

The Tennessee Board of Regents, in a special called meeting today, appointed Laura Travis as the next president of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) Dickson. She will succeed retiring President Arrita Summers Dec. 1.

Travis, a 25-year faculty and staff member of the technical college, is currently TCAT Dickson’s executive vice president of academic affairs and compliance. She joined the college staff in 1998 as health affairs coordinator. Her responsibilities expanded to academic affairs coordinator in 2015; she was appointed the college’s vice president in 2020, and then to her current position in 2021.

She earned a bachelor of science degree in nursing and a master of science in nursing administration, both at Tennessee Technological University. Prior to joining the TCAT Dickson faculty, she worked as a registered nurse and team leader at Homecare Solutions in Dickson and previously as a registered nurse at St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville.

“It is an honor to be selected to serve as the next president of TCAT Dickson. I am dedicated to continuing the excellence of the college while leading its faculty, staff, and students into the future,” Travis said following the board’s unanimous vote. “Through our strong partnerships with our local businesses,  industries, and educational systems, we will continue our mission to be the premier provider of workforce development in Tennessee.”

“I am grateful to Chancellor Tydings and the Tennessee Board of Regents for the opportunity to serve this college that I love. When I take this role on Dec. 1, it will be the 25th anniversary of when I first began at TCAT Dickson. I’m so thankful for the past but I’m very excited about our future,” she said.

In addition to its main campus in Dickson, the college has a major branch campus in Clarksville and has teaching locations in Franklin and at Turney Center Industrial Complex.

A search advisory committee composed of three members of the Board of Regents and representatives of the college’s faculty, staff, alumni and the broader community reviewed 26 applicants before selecting Travis as the sole finalist in October. TBR Chancellor Flora W. Tydings reviewed feedback from a Nov. 3 campus interview and public forum with Travis before recommending her appointment to the board.

“After careful review of the applicants, interviews, and input from the search advisory committee, I am pleased to recommend to you Laura Travis as the next president of TCAT Dickson,” the chancellor said. “It was clearly evident not only to the committee but to the faculty and staff at the campus that Laura was our perfect choice for this position.”

Board of Regents Vice Chair Emily J. Reynolds, who chaired the search committee, thanked members of the committee for their work. “I fully support the chancellor’s recommendation to hire Laura Travis as our next president,” she said.

“And to President Summers: job well done! We will honor her at our December 12 meeting but we are in her debt. She’s been a terrific member of our team, at various locations across Tennessee, and leaves tremendous legacy,” Reynolds said.

Dr. Summers has served as TCAT Dickson’s president since 2014 and is retiring after 30 years of service in leadership and faculty roles at TCATs Dickson, Nashville and Crump.

Travis’ complete resumé and other information about the search are posted on the Tennessee Board of Regents website at

Today’s meeting was livestreamed and is archived for viewing on the TBR website at


The College System of Tennessee is the state’s largest public higher education system, with 13 community colleges, 24 colleges of applied technology and the online TN eCampus serving approximately 140,000 students. The system is governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.