Three finalists selected for next president of Tennessee College of Applied Technology Harriman. Campus public interviews set for Jan. 31

Aerial view of TCAT Harriman, by Machine Tool Technology instructor Adam Dalton.

Three finalists have been selected for the next president of Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) Harriman, and they will participate in public interviews on the main campus in Harriman on Jan. 31 as the next step in the selection process.

The finalists are: 

Christopher W. Ayers, vice president of TCAT Harriman since 2012. He holds a Master of Arts degree in instructional leadership and a Bachelor of Science in education, both from Tennessee Technological University; a graduate certificate in community college leadership from East Tennessee State University, and is in the dissertation phase in the ETSU doctoral program in higher education leadership.

Jeffery B. Fields, vice president of academic affairs at Halifax Community College in North Carolina from 2018 through last August. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy in educational leadership from Trident University, a Master of Science in occupational and technical studies of community college teaching from Old Dominion University, and a Bachelor of Science and Associate of Science, both in computer science from Bluefield State College.

Levi W. Mayer, assistant dean of instruction at J.F. Drake State Community & Technical College in Alabama since 2022. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy in education (higher education administration), a Master of Science in education (workforce education and development) and a Bachelor of Science in workforce education and development, all from Southern Illinois University, and Associates of Science in science and general studies and an Associate of Applied Science in environmental resources and geography, all from John A. Logan College.

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

The Jan. 31 campus community public interviews with the finalists are open to the public and scheduled to start at 9 a.m. ET with Christopher Ayers, followed by Jeffery Fields at 10 a.m., and Levi Mayer at 11 a.m. The interviews are scheduled for the main campus at 1745 Harriman Highway, Harriman, TN.

The interviews will also be available live online by Microsoft Teams teleconferencing, either through the link on the search webpage above or here:

Click here to join the meeting

Meeting ID: 280 971 422 02 
Passcode: UKSAMf 

Or call in (audio only)

+1 629-401-2817,,438420567#

Phone Conference ID: 438 420 567#

Afterward, recordings of the interviews will be posted for review at

The next president will succeed President Danice Turpin, who plans to retire at the end of February after serving as the college’s president since 2008 and capping a career in technical education that began in 1990.

After the campus interviews, Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor Flora W. Tydings will review input from the campus community and public, conduct final interviews and make a recommendation to the board for a single candidate. An online survey form will be posted on the search webpage above to provide input. The board will consider the chancellor’s recommendation and appointment of the next president at a meeting to be scheduled later.

The board approved criteria for the next president in an Oct. 20, 2023, meeting. A search advisory committee chaired by Regent Danni Varlan assisted in the search. The committee also included Regents Miles Burdine and Ross Roberts and representatives of the faculty, staff, students, alumni and the broader community.

TCAT Harriman is one of 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  

TCAT Harriman


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.