David Gregory named interim Regents chancellor

Bolstered by the endorsement of Gov. Bill Haslam, David Gregory was appointed Thursday to replace John Morgan as acting chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents after he retires at the end of the month, reports The Tennessean.

Haslam, who serves as… chairman of the Board of Regents and appoints its members, recommended Gregory during a special called meeting to replace Morgan, who is set to step down as chancellor on Jan. 31. In his resignation letter to Haslam, Morgan said he had fast-tracked retirement plans because he did not agree with the governor’s proposal to remove the six universities from the Board of Regents.

Haslam said Gregory, who is a longtime Board of Regents staff member, will serve as “a strong and steady hand” while the organization faces massive changes during the upcoming legislative session.

“It’s really important that we have someone who is known by everyone in the system,” Haslam said.

Haslam’s proposal, which will be included as part of the “Focus on College and University Success Act” coming before the legislature this year, calls for the creation of independent boards for six state universities governed by the Board of Regents. The board will continue to oversee the state’s 13 community colleges and 27 technical colleges.

Gregory will serve as an interim replacement for Morgan, and will likely handle at least part of the transition outlined in Haslam’s plan. Although Gregory had previously announced plans to retire at the end of the month, Haslam said he had agreed to stay until a permanent replacement was selected.