Tennessee Board of Regents

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    • The Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) is one of the two systems of public higher education in Tennessee. The TBR was authorized by an act of the Tennessee General Assembly passed in 1972. The TBR is the sixth-largest system of public higher education in the United States, supervising all public higher education institutions in the state that are not governed by the University of Tennessee system, including comprehensive four-year universities, all of the state's community colleges, and all of the Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs), therefore dealing with over 200,000 students annually. More than 80% of all Tennessee students attending Tennessee public institutions are enrolled at a Tennessee Board of Regents institution, which is in 90 of Tennessee's 95 counties.

      Originally founded as the State University and Community College System of Tennessee, the TBR currently comprises 47 institutions: six universities: Middle Tennessee State University, the University of Memphis, Tennessee Technological University, East Tennessee State University, Austin Peay State University, and Tennessee State University; 13 community colleges; and 28 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.

      The University of Memphis is the flagship university of the TBR system.

      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.

      The leaders of TBR universities and community colleges are referred to as Presidents, while the TCATs are led by Directors.

      The Board of Regents is supported by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, which serves to coordinate the activities and goals of both the TBR and the University of Tennessee system (UT System). THEC provides the funding formula for institutions.