Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor Flora W. Tidings (TBR) is recommending that Dr. Michael L. Torrence be hired as the new president of Motlow State Community College.
The TBR will meet in a special session Tuesday to consider and act on this recommendation, as well as consider naming a new president of Nashville State Community College.
Torrence is currently assistant vice president of academic affairs at Volunteer State Community College. He has 11 years of experience in higher education administration and nearly 23 years of full- and part-time faculty and teaching experience.
He earned a doctorate of philosophy, with a major in exceptional learning, at Tennessee Tech University, and a Master of Arts and Bachelor of Arts at South Dakota State University, both with a major in English. Torrence is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, serving as a senior airman from 1992 to 1996.
Recommended as president of Nashville State is Dr. Shanna L. Jackson. She is currently an associate vice president and chief operating officer of Columbia State Community College’s Williamson Campus in Franklin.
Tydings said she’s pleased to recommend Jackson and Torrence to the board.
“We searched nationally, and it was very stiff competition. Both candidates have excelled in their current positions at colleges in our system, and they’re very familiar with the needs of the colleges they hope to serve and lead.
“I’m also delighted that both are alumni of the Board of Regents’ Maxine Smith Fellows program, which is designed to enlarge the pool of underrepresented groups within the faculty and administrations of the colleges in our system. This is more evidence of the program’s quality and value,” the chancellor said.
The fellowship program was established in 2003 in honor of the late Maxine Smith of Memphis, a former Board of Regents member and civil rights and education activist. Each class of about 10 fellows meets monthly for a year for leadership training and development experiences. The program has more than 100 alumni, many of whom have advanced to positions ranging from department chairs to deans and college presidents.
The candidates were selected from the four finalists named in late January for the presidencies at each school by two search committees appointed by the board last fall. Each committee included four to five members of the Board of Regents and representatives of the respective college communities, including faculty, staff, students, alumni and the community. The finalists all spent time on their prospective campuses in meetings with the various constituent groups and public forums.
Tydings reviewed input collected during and after the forums and meetings and interviewed each of the finalists to select one candidate for each presidency for her recommendation to the board, which appoints all presidents of the system’s colleges.
Full resumes of the presidential candidates are available on the Tennessee Board of Regents website at www.tbr.edu/hr/executivesearches.
The TBR will meet at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the TBR system office at 1 Bridgestone Park in Nashville to consider the chancellor’s recommendations.