Tennessee Board of Regents
Agency overview
Agency executive
  • Dr. Flora Tydings, Chancellor

The Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR or The College System of Tennessee) is a system of public universities in the U.S. state of Tennessee. It is one of two public university systems, the other being the University of Tennessee system. It was authorized by an act of the Tennessee General Assembly passed in 1972. The TBR supervises all public community colleges and technical colleges in the state, dealing with over 140,000 students annually.[1][2]

It was founded as the State University and Community College System of Tennessee. The TBR comprises 40 institutions: 13 community colleges and 27 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. In 2015 Tennessee governor Bill Haslam announced a plan for the six universities of the TBR system to gain their own governing boards, while noting that "TBR would continue to provide key administrative support to the six state universities."[3]

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 colleges are referred to as Presidents.

The Board of Regents is supported by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission ( THEC ), which attempts to coordinate the activities and goals of higher education in Tennessee. THEC provides the funding formula for institutions.[5]

Member institutions

Community colleges

Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs)

Main article: Tennessee College of Applied Technology

State universities

Six universities were managed by TBR until 2017, when the state overhauled its public higher education system by creating an independent governing board for each university.[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 six universities formerly managed by TBR are:




The Tennessee Board of Regents system is governed by 19 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 19 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; two faculty members 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.

See also


  1. ^ "About the TBR". TBR. ((cite web)): External link in |authorlink= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help)
  2. ^ Staff (2013). "About us: the Tennessee Board of Regents". Tennessee Board of Regents. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-04-13. Retrieved 2017-05-17.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "About the Chancellor's Office". TBR. ((cite web)): External link in |authorlink= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help)
  5. ^ "THEC Homepage". THEC. ((cite web)): External link in |authorlink= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help)
  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.