Four finalists selected for next President of Cleveland State Community College. Public forums set for April 18-21.

Cleveland State Community College Health & Science Center

A Tennessee Board of Regents Search Advisory Committee has selected four finalists for the next president of Cleveland State Community College. They will participate in open forums with the campus community and the public April 18-21, the next step in the selection process.

The finalists are:

  • Dr. Kathy Cecil-Sanchez, vice president of instruction and interim vice president of student success at Lone Star College in Houston, Texas.  Dr. Cecil-Sanchez earned a Ph.D in higher education administration and a Master of Arts in English at Texas A&M University, and a Bachelor of Arts in English at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
  • Dr. Tiffany E. Hunter, provost and senior vice president of academic affairs at Clark State College in Springfield, Ohio. Dr. Hunter earned a Ph.D in higher education leadership and a Master of Science in education at Capella University, a Master of Arts in birth to kindergarten education at Lenoir-Rhyne College, and a Bachelor of Arts in political science at the University of North Carolina – Greensboro.
  • Dr. Barsha Pickell, vice president for academic affairs at Cleveland State. Dr. Pickell earned a Ph.D in government at the University of Virginia, a Master of Arts in political science at the University of Tennessee, and a Bachelor of Arts in history and political science at Carson-Newman University.
  • Dr. Ty A. Stone, president of Jefferson Community College in Watertown, New York. Dr. Stone earned a Ph.D in organization and management at Capella University, a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in organizational strategy at Trinity University, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at Washington Adventist University.

The finalists’ resumes and other information about the search process are posted on the presidential search page of the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR)  website at

Each finalist will visit the campus, meet with campus groups, and participate in open forums with faculty, staff, students and the public who wish to attend. The forums are all scheduled for 10 a.m. ET in the George R. Johnson Cultural Heritage Center Theater on the main campus, with Dr. Stone scheduled for April 18, Dr. Hunter on April 19, Dr. Cecil-Sanchez on April 20, and Dr. Pickell on April 21. The forums will be streamed on the TBR website, via links on the search webpage above.

After the campus visits, TBR Chancellor Flora W. Tydings will gather input from the campus communities and forums, and meet with the finalists to select one candidate for nomination to the Board of Regents. Input and comments on the candidates may be submitted through an online survey that will be added to the search webpage above. The Board will appoint the next president, during a special called meeting to be scheduled later.

The next president will succeed Dr. Bill Seymour, who last November announced his plans to retire this summer after 8½ years as Cleveland State’s president and more than 43 years in higher education administration

The Board of Regents approved criteria for the next president at its Dec. 9 quarterly meeting. The position was posted, and an 18-member Search Advisory Committee was appointed, including three members of the Board of Regents as well as representatives of the College’s students, faculty, staff and alumni, and civic and business leaders from the community.

Chaired by Regent Thomas A.H. White, the committee held its orientation meeting and a public forum on Feb. 17. The committee spent subsequent weeks reviewing applicants and nominees before selecting the finalists.

The president is the chief executive officer of the college, which opened in 1967 as one of the original three Tennessee public community colleges. Cleveland State primarily serves Bradley, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe and Polk counties in southeast Tennessee. In addition to its main campus in Cleveland, it provides classes, services and programs at its Monroe County Center in Vonore and the McMinn Higher Education Center in Athens.

For more information about the college, visit 

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 140,000 students. The system is governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.