Three finalists selected for next president of TCAT Henry/Carroll. Campus public interviews set for Jan. 9

Finalists selected for president of TCAT Henry/Carroll

Three finalists have been selected for the next president of Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) Henry/Carroll. All three will participate in public interviews on the main campus in Paris, TN, on Jan. 9, 2024, the next step in the selection process.

The finalists are: 

  • Janet Humphreys Latimer, currently vice president of the McKenzie campus and a staff member since 2000. She holds a doctor of education degree with a concentration in leadership and policy analysis from East Tennessee State University, a master of science with a concentration in organizational communications and a bachelor of science with a major in public relations, both from Murray State University.
  • John Penn Ridgeway, currently the Henry County mayor and formerly a staff member at the college from 2007 through 2020. He holds a master of arts in education from Bethel University and a bachelor of arts in public administration from the University of Tennessee at Martin.
  • Gary A. Rothstein, currently the associate vice president of planning, effectiveness and special projects at Columbia State Community College and formerly director of budget and finance, continuing education and online learning at the Community College of Baltimore County, Maryland. He holds a master of business administration from West Virginia University and a bachelor of science in business and finance from Liberty University.

The finalists’ resumés and other information about the search are posted on the Tennessee Board of Regents website at

The Jan. 9 campus interviews with the finalists are open to the public and scheduled to start at 9 a.m. CT with Janet Latimer, followed by John Ridgeway at 10 at 10 a.m., and Gary Rothstein at 11 a.m. The interviews are scheduled for the main campus at 312 S. Wilson Street in Paris, TN.

The forums will also be streamed via Microsoft Teams, with access information provided on the website link above.

The next president will succeed Willie Huffman, who plans to retire April 30, 2024, after three years as the college’s president. He joined the college’s staff in 1988, and served as vice president from 2007 to 2021 until he was appointed president.

After the campus interviews, Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor Flora W. Tydings will review input from the campus community and public, conduct final interview and make a recommendation to the board for a single candidate. An online survey form will be posted on the website linked above on the day of the campus interviews. The board will consider the chancellor’s recommendation and appointment of the next president either at its next regular quarterly meeting March 27 or possibly a special called meeting earlier.

The board approved criteria for the next president during its quarterly meeting in September. A search advisory committee chaired by Regent Nisha Powers assisted in the search. The committee also included Regents Mark George and Vanessa Pilkinton, and representatives of the campus community and the local business and civic communities.

TCAT Henry/Carroll is the re-named TCAT Paris and is a fusion of TCATs McKenzie and Paris that will be officially completed in 2024. The two campuses have been led by the same president for a few years. They are among the 24 public Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents, along with the state’s 13 community colleges.

More information about the college is available on its website at


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.