Board of Regents appoints Willie Huffman president of TN Colleges of Applied Technology Paris and McKenzie, approves criteria for next presidents of Volunteer State Community College and TCAT McMinnville

Willie Huffman, Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology Paris and McKenzie

The Tennessee Board of Regents today appointed Willie Huffman as the next president of the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology at Paris and McKenzie, and approved criteria for the next presidents of Volunteer State Community College and the Tennessee College of Applied Technology at McMinnville.

Huffman has been vice president of TCAT Paris since 2007 and a staff member at TCAT Paris and its sister school, TCAT McKenzie, since 1988. He will succeed Dr. Bradley White, who is retiring as president of the colleges March 31 after 44 years of service as an instructor, counselor and administrator. White has been president since 2006.Tennessee College of Applied Technology Paris

Huffman was one of two finalists for the presidency selected earlier this month by a search advisory committee. Both participated in an online campus interview and public forum March 11. TBR Chancellor Flora W. Tydings recommended Huffman’s appointment to the board after reviewing input from the campus community and conducting final interviews. The board unanimously approved and Huffman will assume office as president April 1.

Huffman earned a master of professional studies degree in strategic leadership at Austin Peay State University and a bachelor of science in business administration at Bethel College. 

“I would like to thank Chancellor Tydings and members of the Board of Regents for allowing me the opportunity to serve as the next President of TCAT Paris and McKenzie,” Huffman said. “Both of these institutions have a long history of producing quality graduates and a servant mindset for the communities they serve. I want to continue and build on this long-standing tradition. I know with the help of the students, faculty and staff, it is possible. I have witnessed how a technical education can play a major role in changing someone’s life and have a positive impact on their community. I would like to continue to provide opportunities for both students and communities to grow.”

In other action during today’s quarterly meeting, the Board of Regents approved the criteria for the next presidents of Volunteer State Community College and TCAT McMinnville. Vol State President Jerry Faulkner announced last month that he is retiring effective Aug. 31.

At TCAT McMinnville, former president Warren Laux retired last year and  Nathan Garrett, vice president of TCAT Murfreesboro, is serving as interim president until a successor is appointed. Detailed criteria for both presidencies are included in the board materials here:

For the Vol State search, Regent MaryLou Apple will chair the search advisory committee, which will also include Board Vice Chair Emily J. Reynolds and Regent Joey Hatch plus representatives of the college’s faculty, staff, students and alumni and business and community leaders who will be named soon. The goal is to have a new president in office Sept. 1.

A committee for the TCAT McMinnville search will be appointed soon.

The board also approved new training programs at eight TCATs:

  • Pre-practical nursing dual enrollment program for high school students at TCAT Athens.
  • Building construction technology at TCAT Elizabethton.
  • Computer operating systems and network technology; pre-practical nursing dual enrollment, and transportation, distribution and logistics programs at TCAT Harriman.
  • Power sports technology program at TCAT Hohenwald.
  • Pre-practical nursing dual enrollment program by TCAT Knoxville at Alcoa High School.
  • Pre-practical nursing dual enrollment program by TCAT Livingston at Cookeville High School, and a farming operations technology dual enrollment program by TCAT Livingston at Monterey High School.
  • A barbering program at TCAT Ripley.
  • Pre-practical nursing dual enrollment program at TCAT Shelbyville.

In other action, the board:

  • Received informational reports and updates on student access, retention and success measures for the 2020-21 academic year; the TBR 10-Year Strategic Plan mid-cycle review; the system’s Center for Workforce Development, and the state budget and state legislation.
  • Approved faculty emeritus designations for five retired faculty members recommended by their colleges.
  • Approved an extension through Spring 2022 of a pilot program allowing a student’s high school grade-point average (GPA) as an additional assessment method for college placement (along with the ACT, SAT and other longstanding assessment metrics).
  • Approved a new TBR policy on programs for minors on campus and revisions to TBR policy, with a goal of increasing safety of minors in campus programs like academic and sports camps and other sponsored activities.

The board meeting was live-streamed and archived on the board’s website at The full agenda and board materials are posted at the same link.

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.

Meeting/Event Information
March 2021 - Quarterly Meeting