Seven College System leaders named to Complete Tennessee Leadership Institute Class of 2020-21

Complete Tennessee Leadership Institute

Seven of the 30 members of the Complete Tennessee Leadership Institute class of 2020-21 announced today by the State Collaborative on Reforming Education represent Tennessee community and technical colleges and the College System of Tennessee.

SCORE invited the 30 leaders from across higher education, K-12 education, business and industry, and nonprofit organizations to participate in the 5th Complete Tennessee Leadership Institute.

By 2025, at least half of the jobs in Tennessee will require some type of postsecondary credential, according to data from the Center for Economic Research in Tennessee, and the latest figures from the Lumina Foundation put Tennessee’s college attainment rate at 45.2 percent. Since 2016, CTLI has created a space where leaders from across Tennessee collectively focus on eliminating barriers to postsecondary education and completion.

Class members will work together during the coming year — meeting virtually to start and in person when safe and appropriate — to identify barriers to postsecondary education in Tennessee and advocate within their communities to drive systemic change.

“The mission of CTLI is to ensure that all Tennesseans have equitable access to a high-quality postsecondary opportunity and the supports necessary for completion,” SCORE President and CEO David Mansouri said. “This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has made the challenge for students even greater by worsening the systemic inequities. We applaud the members of this year’s cohort for their commitment to tackle these tough issues and improve outcomes for Tennessee’s postsecondary students.”

The full CTLI class is listed in the SCORE release here. Class members from the College System of Tennessee, governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents, are:

  • Julius Dodds, Director of Academic Retention, Chattanooga State Community College
  • Dr. Echell Eady, Vice President of Instruction and Accreditation, Tennessee College of Applied Technology Murfreesboro
  • Dr. Bethany King Wilkes, Program Director, Seamless Alignment and Integrated Learning (SAILS) Support, Tennessee Board of Regents
  • Jessica R. Lewis, Special Assistant for Strategic Initiatives, Volunteer State Community College
  • Dr. Jeff Sisk, President, Tennessee College of Applied Technology Jackson
  • Dr. Arrita Summers, President, Tennessee College of Applied Technology Dickson
  • Tracy Whitehead, Tennessee Pathways Coordinator, Tennessee Board of Regents

Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor Flora W. Tydings congratulated all members of the new CTLI class. “We’ve had 19 leaders from across our college system in the first four classes and we’re delighted that we have seven more in the new class. We’re grateful to SCORE and The Hunt Institute for operating this outstanding program, which supports our campus and system leaders in their work to broaden access to our colleges to all Tennesseans.,” she said.

SCORE continues to partner with The Hunt Institute, an affiliate of the Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy, to help design learning opportunities for CTLI and serve as an out-of-state voice to lead participants in translating their learning into action.

“The Hunt Institute is excited to work with this new cohort of CTLI leaders at a time when supporting higher education students is more important than ever,” said The Hunt Institute President and CEO Dr. Javaid Siddiqi. “I have no doubt that this diverse group of Tennesseans will effectively champion higher education reform efforts in their local communities, and we look forward to supporting those efforts in partnership with SCORE.”

“By bringing together Tennessee leaders from a broad range of sectors and backgrounds to engage in educational opportunities and address challenges in Tennessee higher education, CTLI creates a diverse network of committed leaders to serve as champions for postsecondary students,” said SCORE Chief Postsecondary Impact Officer Dr. Russ Wigginton. "These leaders will drive needed change at all levels of higher education — local, regional, and state — to improve postsecondary access, persistence, and success for Tennessee students."


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.