Tennessee Board of Regents

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The Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) is one of the two systems of public higher education in Tennessee. The TBR was authorized by an act of the Tennessee General Assembly passed in 1972. The TBR is the sixth-largest system of public higher education in the United States, supervising all public higher education institutions in the state that are not governed by the University of Tennessee system, including comprehensive four-year universities, all of the state's community colleges, and all of the Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs), therefore dealing with over 200,000 students annually.[1][2] More than 80% of all Tennessee students attending Tennessee public institutions are enrolled at a Tennessee Board of Regents institution, which is in 90 of Tennessee's 95 counties.[2][3]

Originally founded as the State University and Community College System of Tennessee, the TBR currently comprises 47 institutions: six universities: Middle Tennessee State University, the University of Memphis, Tennessee Technological University, East Tennessee State University, Austin Peay State University, and Tennessee State University; 13 community colleges; and 28 Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology, which are listed below. The Colleges of Applied Technology were added to TBR control in 1982. Unlike the situation in most states, TBR component institutions do not have their own board of directors, board of trustees, or similar bodies at the campus level; the TBR hires institution presidents and directors and approves the promotions of senior faculty and staff.

The University of Memphis is the flagship university of the TBR system. However, it and the five other universities in the TBR will exit the system in 2017 and will operate with independent boards.

The professional head of the TBR system is referred to as its Chancellor. The chancellor is responsible for guiding the TBR system in accordance with the board's direction and for managing the TBR central office in a manner consistent with the central office's mission and vision. Operational responsibilities and processes include day-to-day management of the system and the central office; board coordination, communication and logistics; presidential searches; and dealing with the media and the general public, including handling complaints and general information requests.[4]

The leaders of TBR universities and community colleges are referred to as Presidents, while the TCATs are led by Directors.

The Board of Regents is supported by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, which serves to coordinate the activities and goals of both the TBR and the University of Tennessee system (UT System). THEC provides the funding formula for institutions.[5]

State Universities

In December 2015, following a movement begun with leadership at the University of Memphis, Gov. Bill Haslam announced plans to overhaul the state's public higher education system by creating independent governing boards for the six universities currently managed by the TBR.[6] The Tennessee legislature in 2016 passed the Focus on College and University Success Act, which separated the universities from the TBR, and Gov. Haslam followed with ceremonial signings of the law at the separated universities.[7] The new boards will take over control on July 1, 2017. The move was celebrated among the universities as an opportunity for greater local control of their institutions.

As part of the restructuring plan, TBR Chancellor John Morgan resigning a year earlier than planned in opposition to Haslam's plan to change the governance structure of the regents system.[8]

Community Colleges

Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs)

Current Chancellor

Past Chancellors

Composition of the Board of Regents

The Tennessee Board of Regents system is governed by 18 board members. The board meets four times each year at regularly scheduled meetings, and the chairman may call additional meetings during the year as needed. The 18 members of the board consist of: 12 lay citizens appointed for six-year terms by the governor, with one each from the state's nine congressional districts and three grand divisions; one faculty member from among the system institutions appointed by the governor for a one-year term; one student from among the system institutions appointed by the governor for a one-year term ; and four ex officio members—the Governor of Tennessee, the Commissioner of Education, the Commissioner of Agriculture, and the Executive Director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, who is a non-voting member.


Current members

See also


  1. "About the TBR". TBR.
  2. 1 2 Staff (2013). "About us: the Tennessee Board of Regents". Tennessee Board of Regents. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
  3. Staff (2013). "Residency Guidelines". University of Memphis. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
  4. "About the Chancellor's Office". TBR.
  5. "THEC Homepage". THEC.
  6. Tamburin, Alan. "Major overhaul planned for Tennessee colleges". The Tennessean. The Tennessean. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  7. Roberts, Jane. "Haslam marks University of Memphis independence from Board of Regents". The Commercial Appeal. The Commercial Appeal. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  8. Tamburin, Adam. "Board of Regents leader resigns, slams Haslam plan". The Tennessean. The Tennessean. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
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