Board of Regents approves criteria for next president of TCATs McKenzie & Paris; hears several informational reports during December meeting

Tennessee Board of Regents quarterly meeting

The Tennessee Board of Regents approved criteria for the next president of the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology at McKenzie and Paris during its quarterly meeting today.

Approval of the criteria is the first step in the search for a new chief executive officer of the two colleges to succeed Dr. Bradley W. White, who is retiring March 31, 2021, after more than 44 years of teaching and administrative service. He began his career as an instructor at TCAT Paris, and has served as president of TCAT Paris since January 2007 and of TCAT McKenzie (jointly with the Paris campus) since July 2009.

Board of Regents Vice Chair Emily J. Reynolds and Regents Mark Gill and Joey Hatch will serve on a Search Advisory Committee that will lead the search, with other members from the campus communities to be named before the search begins in January. The other members and search details will be announced when confirmed.  

The full criteria for the next president, which include at least a master’s degree from an accredited institution, are included in the board materials on the TBR website at

The Tennessee Board of Regents governs the College System of Tennessee -- the state’s 13 Community Colleges and 27 Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs). 

In other action during today’s meeting, the Board:

  • Heard reports by TBR Chancellor Flora W. Tydings and other staff on the Fall term, the results of a November faculty survey, and the new Chancellor’s Commendation for Military Veterans.

Just over 1,550 faculty members participated in the survey. They shared concerns about student engagement during the pandemic, particularly in fully online classes, and about two-thirds of survey participants said student technology issues were a challenge in some parts of the state. Most faculty believed students felt safe in the classroom, where mask, social-distancing and Covid-19 screening requirements were in place, even if faculty worried about their students’ health and well-being.

Chancellor Tydings told the Board that she was encouraged by the survey results. “We pre-loaded a lot of the hands-on activities early into the Fall term. We listened to the experts and anticipated a surge in Covid cases at this time of the year, so in just about all of our courses, the hands-on activities” were scheduled as early in the term as possible, she said.

  • Received informational reports on workforce development activities; the system’s finances; the annual survey of TCAT alumni and their employers;  the update now underway on the system’s strategic plan; legislative priorities; advancement and fundraising activities; student access and success data; correctional workforce training programs, and the board’s biennial self-assessment.

In addition to their regular for-credit academic and technical education classes, the system’s colleges provide non-credit workforce training, often through agreements and contracts with business and industry. The colleges served 62,023 students with a total of 1,235,956 contact hours of such training during the 2019-20 academic year.

Seven of the system’s colleges currently offer academic or workforce training programs to incarcerated individuals in the state prison system: Dyersburg State and Nashville State Community Colleges and TCATs Crossville, Dickson, Elizabethton, Oneida and Newbern. Northeast State Community College and TCATs Ripley and Nashville will add new programs during the next term.

  • Approved revisions to the institutional budgets for fiscal year 2020-21.
  • Approved new programs and program terminations and modifications at the Colleges of Applied Technology.
  • Approved resolutions of appreciation for former Regents Barbara Prescott and Leigh Shockey, both of Memphis, for their six years of service as Board members. Both were appointed in 2014 and their terms ended earlier this fall.

All Board presentations, reports and materials reviewed today, including a recording of the meeting, are archived and available for public review on the board’s website at

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.

Meeting/Event Information
December 2020 - Quarterly Meeting