John Morgan Elected Chancellor

The Tennessee Board of Regents today elected John Morgan as the seventh chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents system. Morgan, currently Deputy to the Governor of the State of Tennessee and former Comptroller of the Treasury, will replace Chancellor Charles Manning, who is retiring effective December 31, 2010.

According to Governor Phil Bredesen, who is also chairman of the Tennessee Board of Regents, “John Morgan is the right person to take the reins in leading the Board of Regents system forward. He played an integral role in crafting the reforms passed earlier this year that spell out a clear vision for how Tennessee will improve its systems of higher education. I’m confident that, under John’s leadership, the institutions under the Board of Regents system will increase degree and certificate production and ultimately produce a better, more highly educated workforce. My thanks to Chancellor Manning for his ten years of service as Chancellor and for his leadership in laying the groundwork that we’ll build on going forward.” Governor Bredesen recused himself from the vote, citing his relationship with Morgan as Deputy to the Governor.

TBR Vice-Chair Bob Thomas said, “I am so pleased we have been able to attract someone of the caliber of John Morgan to lead our system during this challenging time. He has a true passion for education and for public service. He also has an outstanding track record of working effectively with a broad range of people from varying walks of life. He has the stature and reputation to be a strong and effective leader for our system as we move to implement the Complete College Act of 2010.”

Regent Agenia Clark said "It has been a pleasure serving as chair of the chancellor search committee, and I am very pleased with our process and excited about its outcome. John Morgan has an impressive background, a clear vision for the TBR system, and a lot of energy. I look forward to working with him over the coming years.

In accepting the board’s appointment, Morgan said, “I am humbled and honored by the confidence the board has placed in me in selecting me to serve as chancellor of this large, diverse and outstanding system of higher education. It is both a challenge and an opportunity. We are facing difficult times from a number of perspectives, but in working our way through the issues before us, I believe we can do great things for our state and its citizens.”

Morgan, who is 58, has been Deputy to the Governor of the State of Tennessee since January 2009; prior to that, he had served as Comptroller of the Treasury for the State of Tennessee for 10 years. His public service career dates back to 1976 except for a brief stint in the late 1980s with Third National Bank. Morgan has had a longtime interest in and commitment to education. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in political science and history from Austin Peay State University. Morgan’s appointment is effective September 30th, at an annual salary of $385,000. [NB: At Morgan's request, the salary was reduced on August 18 to $305,000, the same salary as Chancellor Charles Manning.] Morgan's resumé is available here.

The Tennessee Board of Regents is the nation’s sixth largest higher education system, governing 45 post-secondary educational institutions. The TBR system includes six universities, 13 two-year colleges and 26 technology centers, providing programs in 90 of Tennessee’s 95 counties to over 200,000 students.

Press Contact: David Gregory,, 615-366-4430

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.