Chancellor John Morgan has announced he’s stepping down as head of the Tennessee Board of Regents following Republican Governor Bill Haslam's announcement that he wants to grant more autonomy to the six four-year universities in the system.
Haslam surprised Morgan and many others in the higher education community when he announced plans in December to refocus the Board of Regents on the state's 40 community and technical colleges.
Haslam's plan has called for creating local boards for Austin Peay in Clarksville; East Tennessee in Johnson City; Middle Tennessee in Murfreesboro; Tennessee Tech in Cookeville; Tennessee State in Nashville; and the University of Memphis.
In a strongly worded letter to Haslam and TBR Vice-Chair Emily Reynolds, Morgan expressed his disapproval in the plan.
"Throughout my long career in public service, I have observed that ambiguity is the ally of ineffectiveness and inefficiency," he said. "The proposal will not lead us closer the state's goals."
Morgan previously served as state comptroller and as chief deputy to then-Governor Phil Bredesen, a Democrat. He was appointed chancellor in 2010.