Board of Regents approves tuition, fees, capital project proposals; appoints Heath McMillian next president of TCAT Elizabethton

JSCC students greet Regents Ross Roberts, MaryLou Apple, Danni Varlan, Thomas White

The Tennessee Board of Regents Thursday approved tuition and fees for the upcoming academic year, capital budget requests for Fiscal Year 2025-26, and a new associate degree program in nuclear technology at Roane State Community College.

The board also appointed Heath R. McMillian as the next president of Tennessee College of Applied Technology Elizabethton, to succeed President David Hicks, who is resigning June 28.

Heath R. McMillian

McMillian is currently president of TCAT Jackson, where he led development of the college’s new Stanton Campus. He previously served as executive director of economic and workforce development at Northeast State Community College and director of Northeast’s Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing.

The board approved search criteria for the next president of TCAT Jackson. Chancellor Flora W. Tydings appointed Jeff Sisk as interim president of TCAT Jackson, where he previously served as president. He is executive director of TBR’s Center for Workforce Development.

The Board of Regents governs the College System of Tennessee – the state’s public community colleges and colleges of applied technology. It held its June quarterly meeting Thursday, June 13, at Jackson State Community College

The board approved tuition and mandatory fee increases totaling 4.88 percent at the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs) and from 4.58 to 5.37 percent (an average of 5.2 percent) at the community colleges. For an academic year, tuition and mandatory fees will increase by $201 (or $67 per trimester) at the TCATs and by a range of $218 to $256 at the community colleges (an average of $241, or $120 per semester) for students taking 15-credit-hour course loads. College-by-college rates are listed on the chart below.

TBR strives to hold tuition and fees as low as possible for students, and Tennessee's community and technical colleges continue to be the most affordable higher education option in the state. With Tennessee Promise, Tennessee Reconnect and other state and federal financial aid programs, most students may attend free of tuition and mandatory fees. Most of our students graduate with zero loan debt. (Mandatory fees are assessed all students enrolled at a college, as opposed to miscellaneous course-specific, equipment and lab fees.)

TBR finance staff noted that the increases are needed to partially cover operating cost increases due to inflation, a portion of a 3 percent salary increase not funded by state appropriations, changes in federal overtime pay rules, and program initiatives at the colleges.

In other action, the board approved four capital budget proposals for college construction projects for Fiscal Year 2025-26. The proposals will now go to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission for its review and consideration, the next step in the budget process. Projects must ultimately be approved and funded by the state legislature before they proceed.

The proposed projects are:

  • TCAT Nashville: Robertson/Sumner County campus replacements, $75.5 million.
  • Volunteer State Community College and TCAT Hartsville: New Wilson County Higher Education Center (joint use), $86 million.
  • TCAT Shelbyville: Lincoln County Campus replacement, $42 million.
  • Multiple TCATs: Aviation campus replacements, $58 million.

The board also approved a new Associate of Applied Science degree program in nuclear technology at Roane State Community College, several new program proposals at the TCATs, promotion and tenure recommendations, estimated budgets for Fiscal Year 2024 and proposed budgets for Fiscal Year 2025, personnel policy revisions, president emeriti contracts, and various compensation proposals.

The board received informational reports on college accreditations, the TBR Strategic Plan, a restructuring plan for the system’s Office of Policy and Strategy, and campus construction projects already underway.

The board re-elected Regent Emily J. Reynolds as the board’s vice chair for 2024-2025, and approved resolutions of appreciation for outgoing Regents Vanessa Pilkinton and Layah Garton and retiring TCAT Henry/Carroll President Willie Huffman.

On Friday, June 14, the board will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony for TCAT Jackson’s new Stanton Campus at 8285 Highway 222, Stanton, TN. The public is invited to attend. Doors open at 11:15 a.m. and the ceremony is scheduled for 12 noon.

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

Tuition and mandatory fees (fees assessed all students enrolled in a college), for a full academic year (two semesters at community colleges and three trimesters at TCATs), effective Academic Year 2024-25:

Tuition & mandatory fees for AY 2024-25


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.