Warren Nichols Recommended to Lead TBR Community College System

Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan will recommend to the Board that Warren Nichols be appointed vice chancellor for community colleges at the TBR.

Nichols, who currently serves as president of Volunteer State Community College, was selected after a comprehensive search that included a large group of candidates from across the United States.

“Warren has demonstrated his ability as an effective leader,” said Morgan. “Given his experience as president, he is uniquely positioned to move us forward as expeditiously as possible, especially during our initial transition to a unified community college system.

The TBR system oversees all public higher education institutions in the state except those in the University of Tennessee system. TBR institutions include six universities, all 13 state community colleges (including Vol State) and 27 technology centers.

The Complete College Tennessee Act passed by the Tennessee legislature last year required that TBR create a unified system for the community colleges. If approved by the Board, Nichols will lead that system beginning Oct. 1.

“We have an ambitious agenda to increase the number of people with college degrees and certificates in Tennessee,” said Morgan. “Dr. Nichols understands those goals and is committed to working with our campuses, our communities, our business partners and our state leaders to meet our targets.”

Nichols, who holds a doctoral degree in higher education administration from the University of Houston, has taught or served in higher education for more than 28 years. He has led Volunteer State Community College for more than 8 years. Prior to accepting his post at the helm of Vol State, Nichols worked as vice president for Academic Affairs and interim vice president for Continuing Education & Economic Development at Darton College in Georgia and was associate dean of Social & Behavioral Sciences and Public Service at Lone Star College in Texas.

He has served as the presidential liaison between the community colleges and the Tennessee Board of Regents for the past two years and was noted for his meritorious service by the Tennessee Senate in 2009. In 2008 Nichols was named the Rotary Foundation Paul Harris Fellow. Among other recognitions, he has received the PTK Tennessee Region Presidential Award of Distinction.

The TBR will hold its next quarterly board meeting on Sept. 22 and 23 at Roane State Community College in Harriman.

The TBR is the nation’s sixth largest higher education system, governing 46 post-secondary educational institutions. The TBR system provides programs in 90 of Tennessee’s 95 counties to more than 200,000 students.

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.