Four finalists selected for next president of Northeast State Community College. Campus visits, public forums set for July 11-14

Northeast State Community College

A Tennessee Board of Regents Search Advisory Committee has selected four finalists for the next president of Northeast State Community College. They will participate in campus visits – including open forums with campus groups and the public – July 11-14, the next step in the selection process.

The finalists are:

  • Dr. Robert R. Brandon, vice president of academic and student services at Southwest Virginia Community College in Richlands, VA. Dr. Brandon earned a Ph.D. in English at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro; a Master of Arts degree in English at East Tennessee State University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English at Virginia Intermont College in Bristol, VA.
  • Dr. Eric A. Heiser, provost at Central Ohio Technical College in Newark, OH. Dr. Heiser earned a Ph.D. in Education and Human Resource Studies-Higher Education Leadership from Colorado State University; a Master of Arts degree in Adult and Postsecondary Education and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, both from the University of Wyoming; and an Associate of Science degree in Business Administration from Central Wyoming College.
  • Dr. Connie Marshall, interim president at Northeast State Community College in. Dr. Marshall earned an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at East Tennessee State University; a Master of Arts degree in Education and a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Management, both from Tusculum College in Greeneville, TN; and an Associate of Applied Science degree in Health Science-Radiology from East Tennessee State University.
  • Dr. Jeff McCord, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development. Commissioner McCord earned an Ed.D. in Learning & Leadership from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; a Master of Business Administration with a Concentration in Information Systems from Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, GA; and a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

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

Each finalist will participate in open forums with faculty, staff, students and the public who wish to attend. The forums are all scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET in the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts on the main campus, with Dr. Heiser scheduled for July 11, Dr. Marshall on July 12, Dr. McCord on July 13, and Dr. Brandon on July 14. The forums will be streamed on the TBR website at the link above and on the Northeast State Community College website.

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 Board of Regents approved criteria for the next president at its quarterly March 31 meeting. The position was posted, and a 17-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 Miles Burdine, the committee held its orientation meeting and a public forum on April 27. 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 1966. Northeast State’s main campus is located in Blountville and the College primarily serves Carter, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington counties in northeast Tennessee.

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.