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Tennessee Board of Regents

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More students are completing their degrees at community colleges.

That's good news for the Tennessee Board of Regents, which met Thursday for its quarterly meeting. The TBR system, which includes the state's 13 public community colleges, has long struggled to raise graduation rates.

Emily Siner / WPLN

The head of the Tennessee Board of Regents says she plans to change how the leaders of community colleges are evaluated.

Flora Tydings took the helm of the public higher education system about six months ago, amid a rocky period for some higher education administrators. During that time, three college presidents have been publicly criticized by their faculty.

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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.

TSU Media Relations

Several public universities in Tennessee are lowering their out-of-state tuition by almost 50 percent for a certain set of students — those who are from places up to 250 miles away.

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN

Gov. Bill Haslam's plan to split up the Tennessee Board of Regents has been approved by the state legislature — a decision that means six state universities will soon have new leadership.

The state Senate voted 31-1 to send House Bill 2578 on to Haslam for his signature. The plan will to give each four-year university in the TBR system its own board of trustees.

Emily Siner / WPLN

Officials from Tennessee State University worry that the governor's plan to restructure Tennessee's higher education system would diminish the school's power, they told lawmakers Tuesday. TSU, the state's only public historically black university, is the first school in the Tennessee Board of Regents to testify publicly against the plan.

Chas Sisk / WPLN (File photo)

Following several years of wrestling over gun laws on college campuses, some lawmakers say public colleges and universities should not be able to stop people from keeping a gun inside their car. 

It’s currently a felony under state law for anyone on a school campus to carry a weapon, even with a permit. But in 2013, lawmakers decided that permit-holders could keep guns stowed away in the trunk or glove box of a parked car.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

State officials say they're working to address concerns about the proposal to give some universities more autonomy.

Gov. Bill Haslam announced late last year that he wanted to essentially spin out four-year schools from the Tennessee Board of Regents and let them establish their own boards. He said that would allow TBR to focus on community and technical colleges.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

The largest public college system in the state has a new leader. David Gregory, the vice chancellor for administration and facilities development with the Tennessee Board of Regents, will be promoted after current chancellor John Morgan leaves at the end of the month.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

The head of Tennessee's largest public college system is resigning — and he's speaking his mind.

After five years as chancellor, John Morgan says he does not want to lead the Tennessee Board of Regents when the state is considering a plan to split off its four-year schools. Morgan has already publicly shown skepticism for that proposal, which the governor touts as a way to give universities more autonomy and community colleges more support.

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