Tennessee Board Of Regents Approves Governor’s Temporary Chancellor Pick

John Morgan, right, presents TBR's 2016 budget requests. Credit: Chas Sisk/WPLN.

John Morgan, right, presents TBR’s 2016 budget requests. Credit: Chas Sisk/WPLN.

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The largest public college system in the state has a new leader. David Gregory, the vice chancellor for administration and facilities development with the Tennessee Board of Regents, will be promoted after current chancellor John Morgan leaves at the end of the month.

Morgan announced two weeks ago that he would resign, calling it an early retirement. The biggest reason he gave was his dissatisfaction with Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposal to restructure the TBR system. That plan would spin off the four-year universities, including MTSU and Austin Peay, from the community colleges.

On Thursday, the board unanimously approved the governor’s recommendation to make Gregory the temporary chancellor while it looks for a permanent replacement. Haslam explained that he thought Gregory was a good choice to lead the system during a transition period.

“I think it’s really important that we have someone who’s known by everyone in the system and can be a strong and steady hand,” he said on a TBR conference call.

In a brief speech after his selection as interim chancellor, Gregory thanked the governor and the staff.

“To those that compose the Tennessee Board of Regents system, I just want you to know that I love and respect all of you,”  he said. “And by the way, it’s probably time for you to get back to your desks and go to work.”

Like the outgoing chancellor, Gregory has also been planning to retire soon. According to the governor, he’s not planning to apply for the permanent position.

TBR doesn’t have timeline yet for when it will hire Morgan’s replacement. The board says it’s planning to wait until it knows more about the governor’s restructuring proposal.

This story was originally published on January 21, 2016 by Nashville Public Radio.

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