Tristan Denley Named Interim APSU President as National Search Nears End
(May 7, 2014) —Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan has named Tristan
Denley, TBR vice chancellor of Academic Affairs and former provost and vice
president for Academic Affairs at Austin Peay State University, to serve as
interim president of APSU effective May 10.
Denley, who will
maintain dual responsibilities as TBR’s vice chancellor during the interim
period, will provide leadership to the campus until a new president is named
and is available to assume the executive role. Current APSU President Tim Hall
leaves the campus after this week to take over as president of Mercy College in
fortunate to have Dr. Denley available and willing to serve as interim
president during this transition period,” said Morgan. “His familiarity with
and reputation on the campus make him an excellent fit. His previous service
there helped lead to the tremendous focus on student success, and I know he
will support the continuous improvements that have already begun at APSU. His
leadership will also help with the transition to the new president.”
Denley was named
vice chancellor at the TBR last July after serving as provost and vice
president for Academic Affairs and professor of mathematics at Austin Peay
State University, where he developed initiatives to improve student learning,
most notably for students who need help with math, reading and writing. He
earned national recognition for designing and implementing the Degree Compass
software program using predictive analytics to increase student retention in
college by helping them select courses they need and would most likely
APSU in 2009 after leaving the University of Mississippi as chair of
Mathematics and senior fellow of the Residential College Program. Originally
from Penzance, England, he earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from Trinity College
Cambridge, completed advanced studies in mathematics from the University of
Cambridge, and earned his bachelor’s degree in pure and applied mathematics
from the University of Exeter.
At Austin Peay
he earlier led efforts to increase the numbers of degrees awarded and grants
funded, created an office for Undergraduate Research and a center for Teaching
and Learning, and introduced a variety of programs to improve support of
faculty research and creativity.
His work has
been recognized by Educause, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and in a
host of national media reports. Most recently his efforts at APSU to
restructure remediation programs resulted in joint recognition by the Dana
Center, Complete College America, Education Commission of the States, and Jobs
for the Future as a national model for developmental education.
The TBR began
the search for Hall’s replacement in February. Four finalists were identified
by the search advisory committee last month and visited campus between April 28
and May 5. They are Bradley Cook, provost and executive vice president and
professor of history at Southern Utah University; Jerome Gilbert, provost and
executive vice president at Mississippi State University; Randall Hanna,
chancellor of the Florida College System and Division of Florida Colleges; and Alisa
White, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs at the University
of Texas at Tyler.
Morgan is in the
process of evaluating each candidate in preparation to make a recommendation to
the Board for the new president in a couple of weeks.
Board of Regents is among the nation’s largest higher education systems,
governing 46 post-secondary educational institutions, including APSU. The TBR system includes six universities, 13
community colleges and the 27 colleges of applied technology, providing
programs to more than 200,000 students across the state.