Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced the creation of APSU’s local governing board as well as the eight appointees for the board.

The local governing board will give the university increased autonomy to support student success by having to power to appoint the campus president, manage the university budget, set tuition and oversee other operational tasks.

The eight appointees are:

  • Billy Atkins – Chairman and CEO of Legend Bank and former president of the Clarksville Chamber of Commerce;
  • Katherin Cannata- Dealer principal for Wyatt Johnson Automotive Group;
  • Larry Carroll – President and CEO of Carroll Financial Associates, Inc.;
  • Don Jenkins – President and CEO of Jenkins & Wynne Ford, Honda and Lincoln;
  • Dr. Valencia May – Owner of Plaza Dental Offices and U.S. Air Force veteran;
  • Army Brig. Gen. Robin Mealer (retired) – Director at the U.S. Army Manpower Analysis Agency;
  • Mike O’Malley – Partner and CEO of Wendy’s Bowling Green; and
  • Army Gen. Gary Luck (retired) – 35-year officer in the U.S. Army and former Commander, Joint Special Operations Command.

APSU’s board is one of six Tennessee university boards put in place by Haslam as part of the FOCUS Act passed by the General Assembly earlier this year.

The other governing boards put in place by the governor include East Tennessee State University, Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee State University, Tennessee Technological University and the University of Memphis.

“There is an incredible momentum around Tennessee’s college enrollment rate, which increased to a historic high of 62.5 percent in 2015. With Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect we’ve been successful in increasing access to higher education, but as we change the conversation and culture of expectations in our state we have to ensure our colleges and universities are supported in their efforts to create student success. These six local governing boards will provide more focused support to the institutions as we continue the Drive to 55, or push to have 55 percent of Tennesseans with a degree or credential by 2025,” Haslam said.

Haslam himself appoints the members to the local governing boards, with the General Assembly holding the responsibility of conforming said members. The board appointments are effective Jan. 16, 2017. After being confirmed, board members will undergo orientation and professional development delivered by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

The Drive to 55 is an initiative started by Haslam with the goal of increasing the number of Tennessee residents with a college education to 55 percent by 2025. Part of that initiative is the Tennessee Promise program which provides high school graduates scholarships to attend two years of community or technical college free of tuition and fees. The program has also helped develop a more comprehensive state approach to serving student veterans.

More information on the APSU appointees can be found here: https://www.tn.gov/assets/entities/governor/attachments/APSU_-_FOCUS_Board_Appointments.pdf