Board of Regents approves criteria for next Northeast State Community College president, new degree programs, changes in student incidental fees

The Tennessee Board of Regents approved criteria for the next president of Northeast State Community College, a new degree program in professional music at Volunteer State Community College and changes in some student incidental fees during its quarterly meeting today in Nashville.

The Board – which governs Tennessee’s 13 community colleges and 27 colleges of applied technology – also recognized and heard from its new Outstanding Technical Student of the Year, Carrington Fox, who recently completed the Building Construction Technology program at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology Nashville. Fox’s selection was announced March 21 and more details are available at:

The Board also presented one of its own members, Regent Joey Hatch, with its Regents Award for Excellence in Philanthropy for his 45 years of support and advocacy for Nashville State Community College, including his chairmanship of the college’s foundation, and philanthropic work on behalf of numerous Nashville area organizations. An alumnus of the college, Hatch – an executive of Skanska USA who was appointed to the Board last year by Governor Bill Haslam – was nominated for the award by Nashville State, where today’s Board meeting was held. Regent Hatch’s full biography is on the TBR website at:

In other action, the Board:

  • Approved changes in the institutional mission profiles proposed by Chattanooga State, Cleveland State, Columbia State, Dyersburg State, Jackson State, Nashville State, Roane State, Southwest Tennessee and Volunteer State community colleges. Institutions are given an opportunity annually to revise their mission profiles for review by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.
  • Approved a new policy on early postsecondary opportunities, which provide programs such as dual enrollment that allow high school students to earn college credit to accelerate their progress toward technical certificates or associate degrees. The new policy formalizes requirements and guidelines, such as faculty credentials, student eligibility and procedures for awarding credit.
  • Eliminated several obsolete TBR policies, including some which applied only to the six universities formerly governed by the Board of Regents until the FOCUS Act (Focus on College and University Success) created new boards of trustees for each of the universities last year.
  • Approved proposals to name buildings at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology Memphis and Walters State Community College’s Sevier County Campus. A new TCAT Memphis building in Bartlett will be named the “Haas CNC Technology Center” (CNC stands for computer numeric controls, a technology to be taught at the facility) in recognition of a $1 million grant from the Gene Haas Foundation to assist in construction of the facility. A new academic building on the Sevier County Campus of Walters State will be named Kile-Ogle Hall in honor of Emily B. Kile and Linda N. Ogle, longtime supporters and donors of the college and the community.
  • Approved a resolution of appreciation for Dr. Lynn Kreider, who recently retired as president of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology Murfreesboro after more than 25 years in higher education.

The Board also heard several informational reports, including an update on legislation affecting the College System; an overview of Governor Bill Haslam’s higher education budget proposals – including a proposed $9 million supplemental appropriation for new technical training equipment across the college system; a presentation on a new data dashboard that will debut soon on the TBR website; an update on the system’s new Office of Economic and Community Development, and notice of a proposed change in the Board’s bylaws that will be considered at the next quarterly meeting in June.

The proposed bylaw change would ensure compliance with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges’ requirement for governing boards to define and regularly evaluate its own responsibilities and expectations.

Approval of the criteria for the next Northeast president is the first step in the search for a new chief executive there to succeed Dr. Janice Gilliam, who retired as president last summer, and James King, who is serving as interim president.  The next step is appointment of a search advisory committee – comprised of representatives of the Board, the college community and the region’s civic and business communities in accordance with TBR policy – to assist in the search. TBR Chancellor Flora W. Tydings said that the committee members and a search timetable will be announced later.

The preferred criteria approved by the Board include an earned doctorate from an accredited university; a distinguished record of teaching and experience in public higher education; a minimum of five years of successful campus administrative experience at a level with significant decision-making responsibilities affecting an entire campus or as head of a major academic or administrative unit in an academic environment, or a distinguished record of extensive senior level administrative experience in a complex business, industry or government enterprise. The complete set of criteria is on the TBR website at

The Board approved creation of a new associate in applied science degree program in professional music at Vol State that is expected to launch with this year’s Fall Semester. The program will prepare students to become working musicians in entertainment industry and as church music specialists.

Board members also approved 16 new technical training programs at 11 colleges of applied technology, designed to be more responsive to the needs of students, business and industry. The new TCAT programs are:

  • TCAT Crossville: Cosmetology; Power Sports Technology; Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Technology.
  • TCAT Elizabethton: Cosmetology.
  • TCAT Jackson: Advanced Manufacturing Production Technology at Gibson County Correctional Complex; Medical Assisting.
  • TCAT Livingston: Manicuring; Power Line Construction program at Jackson County High School.
  • TCAT McKenzie: Information Technology Systems Management.
  • TCAT Memphis: Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Technology dual enrollment program.
  • TCAT Nashville Portland Campus: Industrial Electrical Maintenance/Mechatronics.
  • TCAT Oneida:  Diesel-Powered Equipment Technology.
  • TCAT Paris: Industrial Maintenance/Integration Automation Technology; Digital Processing Systems & Networking.
  • TCAT Pulaski: Patient Care Technology/Medical Assisting.
  • TCAT Shelbyville: Cosmetology at Shelbyville Central High School.

Incidental fees are charges incurred by limited numbers of students for specific classes, labs, licensure exams and services, and are not levied across the board on all students. (Fees charged to all students are called mandatory fees, which will be considered at the Board’s June meeting, along with tuition rates for the 2018-19 academic year.)

Over the course of three meetings in February and March, the Board’s Finance and Business Operations Committee reviewed requests from the campuses for either new incidental fees or changes in existing incidental fees, effective for the 2018-19 academic year. At its March 13 meeting, the committee recommended action on 32 separate incidental fees at six of the system’s 13 community colleges.

The Board approved the recommendations today, establishing five new incidental fees at three colleges (Cleveland State, Northeast State and Walters State), increasing 12 existing fees at three colleges (Dyersburg State, Motlow State and Volunteer State), expanding an existing course fee to additional courses at Volunteer State, and eliminating 14 existing fees at five colleges (Cleveland State, Motlow State, Northeast State, Volunteer State and Walters State. The fee changes are relatively minor, generating a total net increase of $38,100 – the lowest in several years.

Full details of the fee changes, the Northeast presidential criteria and other board actions are available along with a complete agenda and background material, on the TBR website at The meeting was live streamed and archived for later viewing at the same website.

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.