Sep 21 2010
09:15 am

Following the controversy of former state comptroller (and Bredesen ally) John Morgan being hired as Tennessee Board of Regents chancellor...

In May, the Tennessee Board of Regents, which governs four state universities, 13 community colleges, and technology centers, began a new search for a chancellor by rewriting the criteria for the position in ways that played to Morgan's strengths, focusing on candidates' ability to communicate with the governor and other political leaders and an understanding of and commitment to the new law. To the dismay of faculty leaders and some legislative critics, the search committee also downgraded the educational requirements for the job from a doctorate to “a postsecondary education degree earned from an accredited institution.” (Morgan has only a bachelor’s degree from Austin Peay State University, a Board of Regents institution.)

Less than six weeks later, after a search that attracted few qualified candidates and for which Morgan was the only candidate formally interviewed, the regents hired him in July.

... news arrives that hiring practices at the Tennessee Board of Regents are again called into question.

Channel 4 requested documents under the Open Records Act concerning how [former state treasurer Dale] Sims was chosen for the top job on the board. The documents show Sims was hired as the interim vice chancellor for business and finance Jan. 20, 2009, five days after losing his job as state treasurer.

Under TBR’s published policy, upper-level management positions must be advertised for a minimum of 30 days, and the board must ensure that women and minority candidates are considered.

The board now admits that no search was conducted.

And in another "remarkable coincidence," hearings into TBR's human resources policies start Sept. 28, in ample advance of Election Day.

UPDATE: "Two or three" regents are expected to resign next week.

Stick's picture

Meanwhile, TBR institutions

Meanwhile, TBR institutions continue to downsize and rely on underpaid adjuncts to carry out their institutional mandates, of which I am one. Another point of interest, it is my understanding that full time faculty were essentially shut out of the entire process.

Shine on Tennessee! Shine on!


R. Neal's picture

No worries. Haslam will

No worries. Haslam will straighten all that out when he merges the UT Board of Trustees and the Board of Regents and puts Mike Hamilton in charge.

Andy Axel's picture

Exactly. I really don't get


I really don't get what Bredesen is after with these "reforms" that he's introduced. The minute that he starts tinkering with the rules to make it easier for his guy to get in, he's established a precedent that his successor can exploit. And if called on it, said successor can say, "it was my predecessor who adjusted the playing field thus."

Of course, all of this is beyond politics and he's just making commonsense adjustments to archaic policies, etc.

Or so he'll tell the Senate committee.

(Remember, we don't need a standing state ethics panel. Nothing to see here.)

Andy Axel's picture


Resignations expected. No names named.


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