TN Board of Regents spring quarterly meeting is April 7 by conference call. Agenda includes SOAR Awards winners, new programs & policies

The Tennessee Board of Regents will conduct its spring quarterly meeting by telephone conference call Tuesday, April 7. The agenda includes announcement of the outstanding students, faculty, staff and colleges of the year in the second annual Statewide Outstanding Achievement Recognition (SOAR) Awards.

The Board of Regents governs the 13 community colleges and 27 colleges of applied technology comprising the College System of Tennessee.

Other agenda items include:

  • A report to the Board on the System’s actions and responses to the coronavirus pandemic, including the shift of classes and programs to an online environment last month for the remainder of the spring semester.
  • Consideration of 25 proposed technical education programs at 11 Colleges of Applied Technology. These proposals will enable the colleges to be more responsive to the needs of students, businesses and industries in their areas.
  • Consideration of proposed new TBR policies on Inter-institutional Relationships and Off Campus Offerings, and Development & Operation of Off Campus International Education Programs.
  • Consideration of a proposed revision to an existing TBR policy, Duties of the Chancellor. The proposal would add a provision to the policy that would give the Chancellor "authority to act for the Board in all matters during a declared state of emergency and, in consultation with the Vice-Chairman, to waive any policy provisions as necessary to carry out the mission of the Board during such emergency. Any such actions by the Chancellor shall be reported to the Board in a timely manner."
  • Consideration of recommended Faculty Emeritus designations for 2019-20.
  • Informational updates on state legislative actions impacting the system, and on the system’s efforts to encourage participation in the U.S. 2020 Census.

The full agenda, executive summary and complete Board materials are posted on the TBR website at

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions on gatherings of 10 or more people, the Board meeting will be held by conference call, which is open to the public as listeners. The meeting is scheduled for 3 p.m. CT, Tuesday, April 7. Anyone wishing to listen should contact Board Secretary Sonja Mason at by 4:30 p.m. Monday, April 6, for call-in information. The spring quarterly meeting was postponed from its original scheduled date, March 26, due to the pandemic.

The SOAR Awards, launched last year by the Board of Regents, recognize an Outstanding Student, Faculty Member and College Staff Member of the Year – one each from a community college and a college of applied technology, for a total of six individual SOAR Awards. The Board is also recognizing two Colleges of the Year – a community college and a college of applied technology.

A total of 18 regional finalists – six students, six faculty and six staff members – advanced through this year’s judging for the SOAR awards. Each college nominated a student, faculty member and staff member, who participated in regional judging in East, Middle and West Tennessee before the regional finalists advanced to the state level. Final interviews of the finalists by a panel of judges occurred last week.

The SOAR Awards originally were scheduled to be presented during the system’s second annual SOAR Awards conference March 24-25 in Nashville. The conference, canceled for that date, was also to have included TBR Day on the Hill at the State Capitol and recognition of other outstanding students in the system's Phi Theta Kappa and National Technical Honor Society college chapters.

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.