Middle Tennessee State University and Tennessee Tech will soon have more control of their respective destinies.
That is the goal, at least, of the state's broader effort to grant independence to Tennessee's public colleges. Gov. Bill Haslam appointed their new governing boards Thursday.
MTSU’s board includes Andrew Adams, the former head of nursing home chain National Healthcare Corporation, which is based in Murfreesboro. Entrepreneurs Joey Jacobs of Acadia Healthcare and Darrell Freeman of tech consulting firm Zycron were named to the panel, as was Pamela Wright — the namesake of Wright Travel and an MTSU alum.
In total, the governor appointed eight members for the new board (see the full list here). The university now selects a faculty representative and a non-voting student representative.
At Tennessee Tech University, the newly named board of trustees includes Capt. Barry Wilmore, a TTU alum and an astronaut who spent time on the International Space Station last year.
TTU will also be led by a retired NASA engineer, a former state lawmaker and a chairman of Bank of America (see the full list here).
The governor has announced his appointments to all six Tennessee Board of Regents universities this week. Those 48 people must be confirmed by the state legislature next spring before convening.
Once formally established, each campus will have its own authority to appoint a university president, manage the budget and set tuition, among other powers.