Board of Regents meets March 21; agenda includes new president at TCAT Pulaski, TN Promise & Reconnect updates, student incidental fees

The Tennessee Board of Regents will hold its next quarterly meeting March 21 in Nashville. The agenda includes appointment of a new president at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology Pulaski, updates on the Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect programs, and small changes in student incidental fees at six community colleges.

Other agenda items include new training programs at nine technical colleges, routine revisions to TBR policies, and updates on research partnerships and Gov. Bill Lee’s budget recommendations for higher education.

The Board will convene at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, March 21, in the boardroom at the TBR System Office, 1 Bridgestone Park, Nashville. A complete agenda, executive summary and supporting material are available on the TBR website at https://www.tbr.edu/board/march-quarterly-board-meeting.  The meeting will be live-streamed and archived on the same website. Anyone planning to attend the open meeting at the system office may contact Board Secretary Sonja Mason at sonja.mason@tbr.edu or 615-366-3927 by 4 p.m. March 20 to facilitate security access.

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

The board will consider a recommendation by TBR Chancellor Flora W. Tydings for the next president at TCAT Pulaski to succeed Tony Creecy, who retired Jan 2. A Search Advisory Committee recommended two finalists to the chancellor in February – Susan L. Hatto, a dean at Montcalm Community College in Michigan and Mike Whitehead, TCAT Pulaski’s current vice president. The chancellor will recommend one candidate to the board, based on interviews with the two finalists and input gathered from the campus community after the two finalists met with faculty, staff and students. Her recommendation will be announced tomorrow (March 15).

In other action, the board will receive reports on the second cohort of Tennessee Promise students, who entered college in 2016, and on the first semester of the expanded Tennessee Reconnect program this past fall. The two programs provide tuition-free community or technical college attendance for new high school graduates and adults without college degrees or credentials.

The board will also act on recommendations made March 12 by its Finance and Business Operations Committee on changes in incidental student fees requested by six community colleges. Incidental fees are charges for specific classes, labs, activities, parking, licensure exams, materials and other services to individual students and not billed to all students at a college. (The board will consider tuition and mandatory fees – fees billed to all full-time students at a college – at its June 21 meeting.)

The committee recommended approval of new incidental fees for specific sets of students at Chattanooga State, Dyersburg State, Jackson State, Pellissippi State and Volunteer State community colleges, and small increases in certain existing health professions exam fees at Dyersburg State and Motlow State community colleges, due to increases by test vendors.

The board will act on 17 new training programs proposed by nine colleges of applied technology: TCATs Chattanooga, Crossville, Crump, Livingston, McMinnville, Murfreesboro, Oneida/Huntsville, Paris and Ripley.

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.