Tennessee Board of Regents establishes new foundation to support state’s public community and technical colleges

TBR establishes new foundation to support its community & technical colleges

The Tennessee Board of Regents has established the Foundation for the College System of Tennessee to support its 13 community colleges and 27 colleges of applied technology through advocacy, marketing and fundraising.

The foundation’s board will guide the foundation in its mission, vision and growth. The board’s inaugural members are leaders in business, education and nonprofits who have a keen interest in the public colleges and their students as key to Tennessee’s future. The board convened for the first time last week and will meet again in February and June of 2020.

“The foundation board members see the value in the critical work being done to educate our more than 120,000 students every year and prepare them for immediate entry into the workforce or for transfer on to universities to continue their studies. We’re grateful to the members for lending their time, expertise and compassion to support this work,” said TBR Chancellor Flora W. Tydings.

“Our system is both Tennessee’s primary workforce provider and where most of the students who transfer to Tennessee’s universities start. The work being done every day on our campuses is transformational for the students and their families, and the state, and our new foundation will support our mission of Student Success and Workforce Development,” Tydings said.

The new foundation serving all of the College System’s institutions replaces an earlier, smaller foundation that served only the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology, or TCATs, which do not have their own individual foundations or advancement and development officers as the community colleges do.

“The new foundation will focus its work and build relationships with state-, national- and international-level businesses, organizations, foundations and donors who want to support, advocate and contribute on a systemwide level. It will help support our TCATs as well as help supplement and support the outstanding work of the colleges’ foundations,” said Cris Perkins, TBR assistant vice chancellor for strategic advancement and executive director of the foundation.

A systemwide foundation has been discussed for more than three years and Tydings made it a priority after her arrival as chancellor in early 2017.

The foundation board launched with 17 members, including three ex-officio members from the system’s senior staff.

Inaugural members of the foundation board are:


Dan Caldwell

Senior Manager, Training

Nissan North America


Erik Clinite




Dr. Tracy Hall


Southwest Tennessee Community College


Alphonso Harvey


Music City Med, Inc.


Wendell Moore


MNA Government Relations, LLC


Scott Ogden

Vice President, Aircraft Maintenance

FedEx Express


Daniel Parent

Senior Manager

Labor Planning & Business Analysis

Aircraft Maintenance

FedEx Express


Susan Rhodes


The Ayers Foundation


Dr. Jeff Sisk


Tennessee College of Applied Technology Jackson


Tim Smith

Industrial Business Manager

Snap-on Industrial


Wes Stowers


Stowers Machinery Corporation


Kristi Turner

VP/GM Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana

AT&T Mobility


Regent Danni B. Varlan

2nd Congressional District Member, Board of Regents

Major Gifts, Grants and Legacy Giving Director

East Tennessee Children’s Hospital


Greg Vital


Independent Healthcare Properties, LLC

Morning Pointe Senior Living


Ex-Officio Members


Dr. Flora W. Tydings


Tennessee Board of Regents


Dr. Kim McCormick

Vice Chancellor, External Affairs

Tennessee Board of Regents


Cris Perkins

Assistant Vice Chancellor, Strategic Advancement

Executive Director, Foundation for the College System of 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.