Three finalists selected for next president of Volunteer State Community College. Public forums April 24-26.

Finalists selected for president of Volunteer State Community College

A Tennessee Board of Regents search advisory committee has selected three finalists for the next president of Volunteer State Community College. The finalists will participate in open forums with the campus community and the public April 24-26, the next step in the selection process.

The finalists are:

  • Dr. John C. Boyd, president of Mayland Community College in North Carolina since 2011. He has a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Clemson University, a Master of Criminal Justice Administration from Oklahoma City University, and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.
  • Dr. Steve Rook, chancellor of Arkansas State University Three Rivers since 2016. He has an Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, a Master of Science in Education, Guidance and Counseling/Student Personnel from Eastern Illinois University, and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.
  • Dr. Wendi W. Tostenson, vice chancellor of education and student services at Louisiana Delta Community College since 2021. She has a Doctor of Public Administration from Valdosta State University, a Master of Business Administration from the University of West Georgia, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Georgia.

The finalists’ resumes and more information about the search process and the College are posted on the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR)  website at  

The finalists will participate in open forums with faculty, staff, students and the public, with Boyd on Wednesday, April 24; Rook on Thursday, April 25, and Tostenson on Friday, April 26. Each public forum is scheduled for 1:45 to 2:45 p.m. CT, in the Wemyss Auditorium of Caudill Hall, on the main Vol State campus at 1480 Nashville Pike, Gallatin TN 37066. They will be live-streamed at  

After the forums, Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor Flora W. Tydings will review input submitted from the campus community and public and conduct more interviews to select one candidate for nomination to the Board of Regents. Comments on the candidates may be submitted through an online survey link that will be posted on the search webpage above.

The Board of Regents will consider the chancellor’s recommendation for the presidential appointment in a special called meeting at 11 a.m. CT May 6. More meeting details will be announced when complete. The meeting, which will occur virtually, will be livestreamed and archived on the TBR website at, where board materials will also be posted when complete.

The next president will succeed Dr. Orinthia T. Montague, the college’s fourth president, who passed away on Sept. 22, 2023.  Dr. Russ Deaton, TBR executive vice chancellor for policy and strategy, is serving as interim president. The president is the college’s chief executive officer.

The Board of Regents approved criteria for the next president during a special called meeting Oct. 20. A search advisory committee was appointed in January, composed of four Board members, representatives of the College’s students, faculty, staff and alumni, and civic and business leaders from the community. An initial public forum on the search process was held Jan. 26. After the position was posted, the committee reviewed applications and interviewed selected candidates before recommending the finalists.

Volunteer State is one of the 13 public community colleges and 24 colleges of applied technology in the College System of Tennessee, governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents. Vol State is a comprehensive, two-year community college with its main campus in Gallatin, branch campuses in Cookeville, Livingston and Springfield, and other teaching sites in its 11-county primary service area. The college enrolls approximately 7,000 credit-seeking students and has more than 450 full-time employees. Additional information is available on the college’s 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.