Cleveland State Community College Presidential Search Advisory Committee to hold first meeting and public forum Feb. 17

Cleveland State Community College

The Search Advisory Committee that will lead the Tennessee Board of Regents' search for the next president of Cleveland State Community College will meet for its orientation session and a public forum on Feb. 17.

Cleveland State Community College

Board of Regents Member Thomas A. H. White will chair the 18-member committee. Other members are Board Members Emily J. Reynolds and Danni B. Varlan, representatives of the college’s faculty, staff, students and alumni, and business and community representatives from Southeast Tennessee.  The full list of search committee members is below.

Cleveland State President Bill Seymour announced in November his plans to retire this summer after 8½ years as the college’s CEO and more than 43 years in higher education administration.

The Board’s goal is to have his successor, the college’s sixth president, appointed by July 1 to ensure an orderly transition. Academic Search Inc., an executive search and consulting firm, is assisting.

The Search Advisory Committee will meet by teleconferencing for an orientation session for its members and a public forum Feb. 17.  The forum, which provides the public and campus community an overview of the search process, is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET at this Zoom link: Anyone needing assistance may contact Casi Hodges at Cleveland State at or (423) 478-6200.

The committee will review applicants and nominees for the next president and recommend finalists. The finalists will be announced and introduced to the community in campus meetings and public forums. Afterward, TBR Chancellor Flora W. Tydings will conduct final interviews and review input from the campus community and the public to select one candidate for recommendation to the Board of Regents, which will appoint the president.

The Tennessee Board of Regents approved criteria for the next president at its Dec. 9 quarterly meeting, and invites applications and nominations for the position by March 6. Full details – including the presidential criteria, how to apply and submit nominations, and information about the college – are posted on the TBR website at

Cleveland State is a comprehensive, public community college committed to providing open access and quality education to all students. As an Achieving the Dream college committed to student success, CLSCC meets the educational needs of the people it serves in Southeast Tennessee. It enrolls approximately 3,200 credit seeking students and an additional 1,500 non-credit students each fall.

Members of the Search Advisory Committee:


Regent Thomas A. H. White

Search Committee Chair

Member, Tennessee Board of Regents


Regent Emily J. Reynolds

Vice Chair, Tennessee Board of Regents


Regent Danni B. Varlan

Member, Tennessee Board of Regents


Kevin Brooks

Community Representative

Mayor, City of Cleveland


John Gentry

Community Representative

Mayor, McMinn County


Laurie Rowland

Faculty Representative


Maureen Baksh-Griffin

Faculty Representative


Donald Burnette

Student Representative


Melvin M. Tobar Jr.

Student Representative


Willie Thomas

Professional Staff Representative


Dr. Victoria Bryan

Administrative Representative


Dr. Michael Stokes

Administrative Representative


Michael Myers

Support Staff Representative


Hobert Brabson

Alumni Representative


Mike Griffin

Business Community Representative


Lisa Mantooth

Business Community Representative


Tim Poteet

Business Community Representative


Stewart Smith

President, Tennessee College of Applied Technology Athens


For more information on the Cleveland State Community College presidential search:

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.