TBR task force to review campus safety and security commences March 4

Chief Bruce Harber

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 2, 2016) — A task force appointed to research safety and security on public universities and colleges kicks off this week at the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Acting TBR Chancellor David Gregory announced the appointment of the task force members who represent the TBR system’s six universities, 13 community colleges and 27 colleges of applied technology.

“High profile incidents at colleges and schools around the country, while rare, still make us think about safety and security at our institutions and encourage us to be proactive in planning,” said Gregory. “Our campuses are safe, but we always want to ask ourselves how we can make them more secure for our students, faculty and staff. We have assembled a strong team of people to do that.”

The TBR Campus Safety and Security Task Force will meet Friday, March 4, in Nashville to begin its work evaluating best practices around the country, reviewing current campus practices and resources, identifying areas of greatest need for support, and making recommendations for realistic opportunities for improvement in a report to the Board in September.

Gregory will encourage the task force to identify ways for TBR institutions to collaborate and share resources when possible.


Lynn Goodman The task force will be led by three co-chairs, each representing a different sector and functional unit of the various TBR institutions:
  • Bruce Harber is Assistant Vice President for Administration and Chief of Police at the University of Memphis. Prior to joining the U of M, Chief Harber served as a police officer with the Memphis Police Department for 25 years, rising to the rank of major and police academy commander. A certified police officer since 1976, Harber holds a bachelor’s degree in Police Administration and a master’s degree in Strategic Leadership, both from the University of Memphis. He is a 1997 graduate of the FBI’s National Academy (190th Session), and has taught as an adjunct professor. Harber also completed the U.S. Secret Service’s courses in Protective Operations and Threat Assessment in Schools, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police courses on Critical Incident Management and Rapid Deployment to High-Risk Incidents. Harber is certified as a specialist in Crime Prevention through Environmental Design by the American Crime Prevention Institute, and is a graduate of the National Crime Prevention Institute’s College and University Security course.
  • Rebecca Ashford is Vice President of Student Affairs at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville. She earned an associate degree from Brevard Community College, a bachelor’s degree in English Education from the University of Central Florida, and a master’s and doctor of education in Educational Leadership from the University of Central Florida. She began her professional career at Brevard as an academic advisor, became the Dean of Educational Services on two of the college’s campuses, and was later named Collegewide Dean of Enrollment Management. After moving to New York to serve as Vice President of Student Affairs at Broome Community College, she migrated to Knoxville in 2008 to become Vice President of Student Affairs at Pellissippi. Ashford is a graduate of Leadership Knoxville, serves on the Youth Leadership Knoxville Advisory Council, and has served on the United Way Education Investment Committee since 2012. She is a member of the Partners in Education Advisory Board with Knox County Schools, has been mentor with tnAchieves since 2009, and has served on a number of college accreditation committees. Ashford was a judicial officer at Brevard Community College, Broome Community College and Pellissippi State.  She started the behavioral intervention team at Broome Community College and is the past chair of a similar team at Pellissippi State.
  • Lynn Goodman is the Associate Vice Chancellor of Operations for the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology at the Tennessee Board of Regents.  Prior to joining the TBR in 2008, Goodman served as the Director of Training and EEO Compliance Officer for the State of Tennessee’s Human Resources Department. Before then, she served as Assistant Vice President for Human Resources/EEO at Walters State Community College. Goodman received her bachelor’s degree in Business Education from the University of West Georgia, her master’s degree in Technical and Adult Education from the University of Tennessee, and her doctorate in Education Leadership and Policy Analysis from East Tennessee State University.  She also serves as an adjunct professor in management and leadership programs and leads system-wide safety efforts for the TCATs.
Rebecca Ashford

Other members of the task force include

  • Jack Cotrel, Chief of Police and Director of Public Safety, East Tennessee State University
  • Tom Stufano, Chief of Police, Roane State Community College
  • John Edens, Chief of Police, Northeast State Community College
  • Debra Sells, Vice President for Student Affairs, Middle Tennessee State University
  • Patrick Wade, Assistant Director, TCAT – Knoxville
  • Monica Greppin-Watts, Communications Director, TBR System Office
  • Karen Eastman, Professor and Department Head, Life Sciences, Chattanooga State Community College 
  • Mary Cross, Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services, Nashville State Community College
  • Nick Russell, Student Government Association Vice President, Tennessee Technological University, and TBR Student Regent
  • Curtis Johnson, Associate Vice President for Administration, Tennessee State University 



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.