Board of Regents to meet April 27 to consider appointment of president of TCAT Memphis, criteria for next president of Jackson State Community College, presidential selection policy revision, process for selecting next president of TCAT Jackson

Tennessee Board of Regents to meet Oct. 31 to consider criteria for next president of TCAT Memphis

The Tennessee Board of Regents will hold a special called meeting Thursday, April 27, to consider appointment of the next president of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology Memphis, and other business below.

A search advisory committee announced two finalists for the TCAT Memphis presidency on March 29: Dr. Patrick D. U. Davis Sr., vice president of operations at TCAT Dickson, and Dr. Gwendolyn Sutton, vice president of TCAT Memphis. Chancellor Flora W. Tydings will recommend one of the two for the board’s consideration after reviewing feedback from their participation in public interviews on the campus April 4. Their resumés and other search information are available for review on the TBR website at

The April 27 agenda also includes board review and consideration of approval of the criteria for the next president of Jackson State Community College, a proposed revision to the Board’s policy on Presidential Selection and Retention, and search criteria and process for the next president of TCAT Jackson.

The Board of Regents governs Tennessee's public community colleges and colleges of applied technology. It will meet virtually at 2:30 p.m. CT, April 27, 2023, by Microsoft Teams. The meeting will be live streamed and archived on the TBR website at Board materials, including the agenda, proposed criteria for the Jackson State presidential search and the proposed policy revision, are posted at the same link. Anyone needing direct access to the meeting, other than the livestream, should contact Mariah Perry at or 615-366-3927 for access or accommodations by 4 p.m. CT, Wednesday, April 26.

The next TCAT Memphis president will succeed Dr. Roland Rayner, president from 2010 to his retirement Feb. 28, 2023, after more than 32 years of service in the TBR system. After he announced retirement plans last fall, the board approved criteria for the next president Oct. 31 and a search advisory committee was appointed, chaired by Board Vice Chair Emily J. Reynolds and which included Regents Mark George and Nisha Powers, and representatives of the campus, local business and civic communities.

At Jackson State Community College, Dr. George Pimentel has announced plans to retire as president effective June 30, 2023, after nearly three decades of higher education service. Board approval of the criteria for the next president is the first step in the search process.

The proposed revision to the policy on Presidential Selection and Retention would permit the board to establish a presidential search process at limited variance with the existing policy, upon a finding by the board that exceptional circumstances exist – but “only in rare instances where the best interests of the institution justify a different search process.” The proposed revision would require that any finding of exceptional circumstances be based on detailed facts and include a rationale for not following the regular search process. The revision would not alter any provisions of state law governing college presidential searches, including public notice, public forum and identification of finalist(s) requirements.

The board will also review and consider the criteria and search process for the next president of TCAT Jackson. Heath R. McMillian has been serving as interim president since Oct. 1, 2022, when Dr. Jeff Sisk, the former president, was appointed executive director of the systemwide TBR Center for Workforce Development. McMillian is also leading development of the new TCAT Blue Oval City Campus.

Persons who want to request to address the board may follow the process authorized by TBR Policy – Requests to Address the Board

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.