Tennessee Board Of Regents Search Starts With No Leader ‘Preordained’

Gov. Bill Haslam says the next chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents does not have to be an academic. Credit: TN Photo Services.

Gov. Bill Haslam says the next chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents does not have to be an academic. Credit: TN Photo Services.

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Tennessee has finally kicked off the hunt for a new leader for its system of community colleges and technology centers, and Gov. Bill Haslam says the search starts with no preconceived notions of who it should be.

A 16-person search committee met Friday in Nashville to start looking for the next chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents. Haslam is personally leading the search committee and says the next TBR chancellor could be anyone from an administrator in another state to someone with no previous academic experience.

The previous chancellor, John Morgan, was a deputy to Gov. Phil Bredesen and a former state comptroller. He retired back in January.

“We are not starting with anybody preordained or with a thought about who that would be. We want to find the very best person for the system.”

The new chancellor will come in as the Haslam administration wraps up a major reorganization of the Board of Regents. The system’s six, four-year universities are being separated from the community colleges and technical schools. Haslam says this will help the system focus on two-year students and those needing job training.

The search committee has hired a headhunting firm that will develop a confidential list of candidates. Only finalists for the job will be identified.

TBR hopes to have a new chancellor in place by the start of the new year.

This story was originally published on September 6, 2016.

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