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Selection and Retention of the Chancellor :

Policy/Guideline Area

Governance, Organization, and General Policies

Applicable Divisions

System Office, Board Members


The Tennessee Board of Regents is responsible for the selection and employment of the chief executive officer of the system. In an effort to recruit and retain the most qualified higher education administrator as Chancellor, the following policy of the Board is established.


  1. Selection of the Chancellor 
    1. Criteria for Position. The Board shall establish qualification criteria for the selection of the Chancellor upon the vacancy or notice of vacancy of the office. The criteria should be based upon the Board's appraisal of the unique characteristics and complexity of the Chancellor’s responsibilities.
    2. Search Committee. A Search Committee will be appointed to assist the Board in seeking out persons that meet the criteria established by the Board. Searches will be conducted as expeditiously as possible with an appropriate schedule developed for each search. The Search Committee will assist the Board in reviewing the applicant pool, interviewing the candidates and participating in meetings with the candidates. The committee will recommend a candidate to the Board for appointment.
    3. Composition of the Search Committee. In consultation with the Chair, the Vice-Chair of the Board will appoint the members of the search committee. In addition to representatives from the Board, the committee should include representatives from the System Office senior staff, representatives from the community and technical college presidents, and representatives from other stakeholder groups, including faculty, students and alumni. In appointing members to the committee, the Vice Chair shall strive for racial and gender diversity.
    4. Identification of Candidates. At a minimum, the position will be advertised through The Chronicle of Higher Education and Diverse Issues in Higher Education and through notification to appropriate national associations. Committee members and others may recommend and nominate candidates. Effort shall be made to obtain gender and racial diversity in the pool of candidates. A search firm may be utilized to assist in this process. The application process shall remain open until the position is filled.
    5. Confidentiality of Applications. Confidentiality of the applications and related materials submitted shall be maintained in accordance with T.C.A. § 49-7-154.
    6. Screening Process. The Vice Chair, in consultation with the search firm, if a search firm is used, shall conduct a preliminary review of all applications, eliminating those that do not meet the minimum criteria. Resumes of all qualified applicants will be shared with the Search Committee. The Search Committee will determine which of those applicants should move forward for reference checking and interviews.
    7. Selection of Finalists. The Search Committee will recommend up three (3) applicants as finalists for the position. The applications and related materials submitted by, or on behalf of, the finalists shall then be open for public inspection in accordance with  T.C.A. § 49-7-154.
    8. Finalist Interviews and Public Forums. As deemed appropriate by the Vice Chair, the Search Committee chair, and the Search Committee, each finalist will participate in interviews and forums with stakeholders. Each finalist will each participate in at least one public forum scheduled in accordance with T.C.A. § 49-7-154.
    9. Recommendation and Appointment. After completion of the interviews and public forums, the Search Committee will recommend a candidate to the Board of Regents. In accordance with T.C.A.§ 49-8-202, the Board of Regents will vote on the recommendation.
    10. Interim Chancellor. The Board may appoint an interim Chancellor in cases of illness, death, untimely resignation, or termination of incumbents.
    11. Background Investigations. It is the policy of the Board of Regents to conduct background investigations on all candidates recommended for interview for the position of Chancellor. The investigations are conducted based on guidelines developed by the system office.
    12. Search Committee Members’ Eligibility for Employment or Promotion. No person acting on a search committee for the selection of a Chancellor shall be eligible for initial employment or for promotion by the system office for a period of twelve (12) months after the effective date of the Chancellor’s appointment. This prohibition shall not apply to any person who is a full-time student at the time of service on the committee.
  2. Appointment and Retention of the Chancellor
    1. The Chancellor serves at the pleasure of the Board. However, the Board anticipates upon appointment that, assuming satisfactory performance, the Chancellor will serve an institution for a number of years.
    2. After initial employment, the Chancellor’s annual salary shall be established by the Board at the beginning of each fiscal year.
    3. The Chancellor may resign at any time upon written notification to the Board, given through the Vice Chairman.
    4. The Board may terminate the employment of the Chancellor at any time, with or without cause.
    5. In the event of termination of the Chancellor, up to three (3) months' severance compensation may be authorized by the Board.



T.C.A.§§ 49-8-203, 49-7-154, 49-7-131


Approved TBR Board Meeting September 19 & 20, 2019.