Governor Names New Commissioners; THEC Executive Director Retires

Category: State Issues

Several leadership changes have occurred within the Haslam administration over the course of the month.  This certainly is not a unique situation for any administration:  typically, Commissioners and staff commit to a certain period of time and then transition on, they retire, head back to their previous work, or take on new positions entirely.

Three transitions of note are the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) Executive Director, the Education Commissioner, and the Economic and Community Development (ECD) Commissioner.

Governor Haslam has announced his selection of Candice McQueen to serve as Education Commissioner.  McQueen currently serves as senior vice president and dean of Lipscomb University’s College of Education.  Before joining Lipscomb in 2001, McQueen was a teacher in elementary and middle schools. She will replace Commissioner Kevin Huffman, who announced his departure last month.  She begins her work as Commissioner on January 20.  Read more about her here.

The Governor also recently announced his selection of current Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) Chair Randy Boyd to serve as Commissioner for Economic and Community Development.  He replaces Commissioner Bill Hagerty, a former White House staffer at the Domestic Policy Council under President George H. Bush.  Boyd is best known in education circles as a former unpaid higher education advisor to Haslam who helped developed TNAchieves, the program that later developed into the TN Promise Scholarship program.

Creating a vacancy at THEC is the retirement of Dr. Richard Rhoda.  Rhoda’s retirement was announced last month, and it becomes effective December 31. A replacement has not yet been named.

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