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About the Board

The Tennessee Board of Regents system is governed by 18 board members. The board meets four times each year at regularly scheduled meetings, and the chairman may call additional meetings during the year as needed.  The standing committees of the board  and some ad hoc committees generally meet prior to each board meeting and include faculty and student representatives. The board sets policies and guidelines that govern all TBR institutions. The minutes of the board show actions taken. All board meetings are open to the public and the press as observers under Tennessee law.

The composition and powers of the Tennessee Board of Regents are set forth in Tennessee Code Annotated 49-8-201 through 49-8-203. The board consists of 18 members:  12 lay citizens appointed for six-year terms by the governor, with one each from the state's nine congressional districts and three grand divisions; one faculty member from among the system institutions appointed by the governor for a one-year term; one student from among the system institutions appointed by the governor for a one-year term ; and four ex-officio members--the Governor of Tennessee, the Commissioner of Education, the Commissioner of Agriculture, and the Executive Director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, who is a non-voting member.

The board is responsible for assuring lay and public direction in the operations of Tennessee Board of Regents institutions. Members serve without compensation and meet at least four times a year in regular session; called sessions are convened for special purposes. The board governs and manage the system. It is empowered by law to do the following:

  • employ the system chancellor and define his or her duties; select and employ presidents of the institutions;
  • confer tenure and approve promotions in rank of system faculty;
  • prescribe curricula and requirements for diplomas and degrees;
  • approve the operating and capital budgets of each institution and otherwise set policies for their fiscal affairs;
  • establish policies and regulations regarding the campus life of the institutions; and
  • assume general responsibility for the operations of the institutions while delegating specifically to the presidents such powers and duties as are necessary and appropriate for the efficient administration of their respective institutions and programs.

Enabling Legislation and Bylaws

The enabling legislation for the Tennessee Board of Regents is in Tennessee Code Annotated 49-8-201 through 49-8-203, which can be accessed here. The board functions within the parameters of its bylaws.

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