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Board of Regents to meet June 21-22; agenda includes student tuition for 2018-19

The Tennessee Board of Regents will hold its summer quarterly meeting Thursday and Friday, June 21-22, at Cleveland State Community College in Cleveland, Tenn. The agenda includes action on student tuition and fees for the 2018-19 school year.

The Board of Regents governs the 13 community colleges and 27 colleges of applied technology comprising the College System of Tennessee.

The board will consider the tuition and fee recommendations made by its Finance and Business Operations Committee on May 30: a proposed 2.7 percent increase in in-state student tuition (called maintenance fees) at the community colleges and a 3 percent increase at the colleges of applied technology.

The committee recommended no increase in mandatory fees (fees paid by all students in addition to tuition), except for a new $3 per semester fee at Columbia State Community College sought by the student government association to enhance student-oriented events on all five of the college’s campuses. As a result, the effective increase in tuition and mandatory fees would be 2.4 to 2.6 percent for community college students taking 15 credit hours per semester and 2.8 percent for technical college students.

If the Finance Committee’s recommendations are approved by the board, it will be the fourth consecutive year of tuition increases of 4 percent or less – and the system’s lowest four-year average increase in decades. Last year’s 2.6 percent tuition increase at the community and technical colleges was the lowest since 1991-92.

The board’s committees will meet June 21, starting at 9 a.m. ET with the Economic and Community Development Committee in Room E-110 of the Career Education Building. Committee meetings resume at 1 p.m. that day in the Johnson Theater of the George R. Johnson Cultural Heritage Center. The Finance and Business Operations Committee will convene at 1 p.m., followed consecutively by the Personnel and Compensation Committee; Academic Policies, Programs and Student Life Committee, and the External Affairs Committee.

The full Board of Regents will convene at 9:30 a.m. June 22, also in the Johnson Theater, following a 9 a.m. welcoming presentation by Cleveland State President Bill Seymour and Tennessee College of Applied Technology Athens President Stewart Smith. Cleveland State is located at 3535 Adkisson Drive in Cleveland.

Other major items on the board’s agenda include:

  • A report on the findings of an Economic Reach and Impact study of TBR institutions, employees, students and graduates. The study was conducted by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s Center for Economic Research in Tennessee.
  • An update on the Tennessee Reconnect program, which goes into effect this fall, providing tuition-free community and technical college for adult Tennesseans without college degrees. More than 19,000 have applied for Reconnect so far.
  • Consideration of the proposed institutional budgets for Fiscal Year 2018-19.
  • Consideration of approval of the system’s capital budget request for Fiscal Year 2019- 20. This is the first step in the capital budgeting process and if approved, this request for campus construction, renovation and major maintenance projects will be forwarded to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. THEC will then draft a priority list for capital projects across the state’s public higher education system, including the community and technical college system, the University of Tennessee System and locally governed universities, for submission to the state administration. The administration will then decide what projects to include in the governor’s overall state budget proposal to the General Assembly early next year.
  • Consideration of a proposed revision in TBR policy regarding payment of student fees and enrollment. The proposal stems from the state legislature’s approval of Public Chapter 739, the intent of which is to give students with prior college debt a pathway to return to school, participate in Tennessee Reconnect and ultimately graduate. The policy change would authorize College System of Tennessee schools to issue certificates of credit or official transcripts for a student seeking admission to any college in the system if the student has entered into a written agreement to satisfy any outstanding debt or obligation owed to the college issuing the certificate or transcript. Additionally, the schools are authorized to issue diplomas, certificates of credit, or official transcripts if the debt outstanding is less than $100.
  • Consideration of faculty tenure and promotion recommendations at the colleges.
  • Consideration of compensation plans for the colleges and the system office for the fiscal year starting July 1.
  • Consideration of executive incentive compensation plan payments to college presidents and the chancellor of the Board of Regents.
  • Consideration of president emeritus contracts for next year.
  • Consideration of 15 proposed terminations, modifications and implementations of technical programs at the colleges of applied technology.
  • Consideration of a proposed change in the board’s bylaws, to add a self-assessment process for the board to comply with accreditation standards of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

The complete agenda for all of the committees and the full board, as well as supporting materials are posted on the TBR website at https://www.tbr.edu/board/june-quarterly-board-meeting. The meetings will be live-streamed and archived at the same site.

All meetings are open to the public and media as observers. Anyone planning to attend should contact Board Secretary Sonja Mason at Sonja.Mason@tbr.edu or 615-366-3927 for security access or accommodations.

 

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 100,000 students. The system is governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.