Northeast State Community College Presidential Search Advisory Committee appointed. Public forum set for April 27

Northeast State Community College

The Search Advisory Committee leading the Tennessee Board of Regents' search for the next president of Northeast State Community College has been appointed and will meet for its orientation session and a public forum Wednesday, April 27.

Board of Regents Member Miles Burdine will chair the 17-member committee. Other members are Board Members Emily J. Reynolds and Danni B. Varlan, and representatives of the college’s faculty, staff, students and alumni, and business and community representatives from Northeast Tennessee.  The full list of search committee members is below.

The committee will meet by teleconferencing for an orientation session for its members and a public forum Wednesday, April 27.  The forum, which provides the public and campus community an overview of the search process, is scheduled for 10 a.m. ET at this Zoom link: Anyone needing assistance may contact Stephanie Barham, Northeast State chief of staff, at or 423-279-7633, or Eric Morritt, assistant director, multimedia and theatre services, at or 423-354-5173

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.

Dr. Bethany Bullock stepped down as president of Northeast in March and Tydings appointed Dr. Connie Marshall, the college’s vice president for academic affairs, to serve as interim president.

The Board of Regents approved criteria for the next president during its last quarterly board meeting March 31. The Board invites applications and nominations for the position by June 3, 2022. Full details – including the presidential criteria, how to apply and submit nominations, and information about the college – are posted on the TBR website at

 Academic Search Inc., an education executive search and consulting firm, is assisting.

Northeast State is a comprehensive community college whose main campus is in Blountville. The college primarily serves Carter, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi, and Washington counties and enrolls more than 5,500 credit-seeking students and over 1,200 non-credit students. In addition to the main campus in Blountville, Northeast delivers programming at campuses in Elizabethton, Gray, Johnson City, and Kingsport.


Members of the Search Advisory Committee:

Miles Burdine, Chair

Member, Tennessee Board of Regents


Emily J. Reynolds

Vice Chair, Tennessee Board of Regents


Danni B. Varlan

Member, Tennessee Board of Regents


Chris McCartt

Kingsport City Manager

Community Representative


Dr. Carol Cole

Professor of Business

Faculty Representative


Ross Roberts

Assistant Professor of Education

Faculty Representative


Claudia De La Torre

Student Representative


Ella Fennell

Student Representative


J. Michael Ramey

Evening Coordinator, Kingsport Center for Higher Education

Professional Staff Representative


Dr. Donna Farrell

Dean of Technologies

Administrative Representative


Dr. Susan Graybeal

Vice President for Institutional Excellence & Student Success

Administrative Representative


Jo Starling

Programs & Services Coordinator, Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing

Staff Representative


Heath Guinn

Sync Space

Alumni Representative


Lottie Ryans

First Tennessee Development District

Business Community Representative


Brian Miller

Eastman Chemical Co.

Business Community Representative


Peter Raber

Aldebaran Financial Insights

Business Community Representative


Robert Arnold

American Electric Power Co.

Business Community Representative


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.