Tennessee Board of Regents Approves Tuition Hikes and New TCAT President

The Tennessee Board of Regents approved tuition increases, capital projects, and appointed Heath McMillian as TCAT Elizabethton's new president.

The Tennessee Board of Regents approved several key measures during its quarterly meeting on June 13, 2024. These included tuition and fee adjustments for the upcoming academic year, capital budget requests for Fiscal Year 2025-26, and the introduction of a new associate degree program in nuclear technology at Roane State Community College.

The board also announced the appointment of Heath R. McMillian as the incoming president of Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) Elizabethton. McMillian will succeed President David Hicks, who is set to resign on June 28. McMillian currently serves as the president of TCAT Jackson and has led the development of the college’s new Stanton Campus. He has also held roles in economic and workforce development at Northeast State Community College.

Furthermore, Chancellor Flora W. Tydings appointed Jeff Sisk as interim president of TCAT Jackson. Sisk, who is the executive director of the TBR’s Center for Workforce Development, previously served as president of TCAT Jackson.

The board, which governs Tennessee’s public community colleges and colleges of applied technology, approved tuition and mandatory fee increases. These include a 4.88 percent hike at the TCATs and an average increase of 5.2 percent at the community colleges. For the academic year, this translates to an additional $201 at the TCATs and between $218 to $256 at the community colleges for students taking 15-credit-hour course loads. The specific rates for each college are detailed in a chart available on the TBR website.

The increases are intended to cover rising operational costs due to inflation, salary adjustments not covered by state appropriations, and other program initiatives. Despite these increases, Tennessee’s community and technical colleges remain among the most affordable higher education options in the state. Programs like Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect help students attend college with minimal or no tuition fees.

In addition to tuition changes, the board approved four capital budget proposals for the 2025-26 fiscal year, which will now proceed to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission for further review. These projects include:

– TCAT Nashville: Robertson/Sumner County campus replacements, $75.5 million.

– Volunteer State Community College and TCAT Hartsville: New Wilson County Higher Education Center, $86 million.

– TCAT Shelbyville: Lincoln County Campus replacement, $42 million.

– Multiple TCATs: Aviation campus replacements, $58 million.

The board also introduced a new Associate of Applied Science degree program in nuclear technology at Roane State Community College and approved several new program proposals at the TCATs. Other actions included promotions, tenure recommendations, estimated budgets for Fiscal Year 2024, proposed budgets for Fiscal Year 2025, and various personnel policy revisions.

Additionally, the board re-elected Regent Emily J. Reynolds as vice chair for 2024-2025 and passed resolutions of appreciation for outgoing Regents Vanessa Pilkinton and Layah Garton, as well as retiring TCAT Henry/Carroll President Willie Huffman.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for TCAT Jackson’s new Stanton Campus is scheduled for June 14, 2024, at 8285 Highway 222, Stanton, TN. The event is open to the public, with doors opening at 11:15 a.m. and the ceremony starting at noon.

The meeting was live-streamed and archived on the TBR website. The full agenda and board materials are available here.

The College System of Tennessee, governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents, is the state’s largest public higher education system, consisting of 13 community colleges, 24 colleges of applied technology, and the online TN eCampus, serving approximately 140,000 students.

Contact: Richard Locker, 615-366-4417

Follow on Twitter: @CollegeSystemTN

Published: 06/13/2024

Source: Read Original Release

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