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Office of General Counsel Policies & Guidelines

Selection and Retention of Presidents :

Policy/Guideline Area

Governance, Organization, and General Policies

Applicable Divisions

TCATs, Community Colleges, System Office, Board Members


The Tennessee Board of Regents is responsible for the selection and employment of the chief executive officers of the member institutions of the State University and Community College System of Tennessee, based upon the recommendation of the chief executive officer of the System. In an effort to recruit and retain the most qualified college administrators as presidents of the institutions under the jurisdiction of the Board, the following policy of the Board is established.


  1. Selection of Presidents
    1. The Board shall establish qualification criteria for the selection of a president at each of the various institutions upon the vacancy or notice of vacancy of the office. The criteria may vary from institution to institution based upon the Board's appraisal of the unique characteristics and complexity of the president's responsibility at each institution.
    2. The Board shall establish a selection process for each presidency based upon the Board's appraisal of the most appropriate method to be used for the selection of a president at each institution.
    3. The Board delegates to the Chancellor the authority to appoint interim presidents in cases of illness, death, untimely resignation, etc., of incumbents. The Chancellor shall consult with the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board prior to making an interim appointment.
    4. It is the policy of the Board of Regents to conduct background investigations on all candidates recommended for interview for the position of president. The investigations are conducted based on guidelines developed by the system office.
  2. Appointment and Retention of Presidents
    1. A president serves at the pleasure of the Board. However, the Board anticipates upon appointment that a president will serve an institution for a number of years.
    2. An annual salary agreement shall be issued by the Board through the Chancellor at the beginning of each fiscal year.
    3. A president may resign at any time upon written notification to the Board through the Chancellor.
    4. A president may be terminated at any time by the Board.
    5. In the event of termination of a president, three months' severance compensation may be authorized by the Board.
  3. Evaluation of Presidents
    1. Each president shall be evaluated based upon an evaluation process developed and conducted by the Chancellor.
    2. Generally, the evaluation shall be conducted annually and as a minimum, the Chancellor shall consider:
      1. The president's accomplishment of annual objectives at the institution.
      2. The demonstrated ability of the president to serve as the leader of a campus community, including such factors as the ability to organize, to make decisions, to motivate others, to communicate, to maintain strong external relationships, and to develop other leaders.
      3. The commitment of the president to the institution and the System, and to the implementation of the Board policies.
    3. The evaluations made by the Chancellor should be utilized to improve the administration of a president, to determine compensation adjustment, and to determine future employment status.
  4. Regents Professorships
    1. The Board may confer a Regents Professorship upon a past president.
    2. A president must have served a minimum of ten years as the chief administrative officer of a higher education institution in Tennessee to be eligible for such consideration.
    3. A Regents Professor may be assigned to either the Board staff in a research capacity or to an individual institution in a research and/or teaching capacity.
    4. A Regents Professor assignment shall be determined by the Chancellor if the position is to be with the Board staff or by the president of an institution, in consultation with the Chancellor, if the position is to be with one of the institutions.
    5. The salary of a Regents Professor will be determined by the Chancellor but shall not be less than seventy percent of the direct salary received during the last year of service as president prior to appointment as a Regents Professor.
    6. A Regents Professorship appointment at an institution shall be with tenure on an academic year basis.
    7. A Regents Professor shall have duties and responsibilities commensurate with the position. Further, a Regents Professor shall have the necessary accommodations and support assistance to render valuable service to the Board or to an individual institution.
    8. A Regents Professor accepting a teaching and/or research assignment may be granted sufficient time to prepare for the new appointment, not to exceed six months with all benefits provided herein.



T.C.A. § 49-8-203


TBR Meeting, September 30, 1977; December 4, 2008.