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HomeEducationTennessee Board of Regents names Tristan Denley Interim APSU President

Tennessee Board of Regents names Tristan Denley Interim APSU President

Tennessee Board of RegentsNashville, TN – Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan has named Tristan Denley, TBR vice chancellor of Academic Affairs and former provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Austin Peay State University, to serve as interim president of APSU effective May 10th.

Denley, who will maintain dual responsibilities as TBR’s vice chancellor during the interim period, will provide leadership to the campus until a new president is named and is available to assume the executive role.

Dr. Tristan Denley
Dr. Tristan Denley

Current APSU President Tim Hall leaves the campus after this week to take over as president of Mercy College in New York.

“We are fortunate to have Dr. Denley available and willing to serve as interim president during this transition period,” said Morgan. “His familiarity with and reputation on the campus make him an excellent fit. His previous service there helped lead to the tremendous focus on student success, and I know he will support the continuous improvements that have already begun at APSU. His leadership will also help with the transition to the new president.”

Denley was named vice chancellor at the TBR last July after serving as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs and professor of mathematics at Austin Peay State University, where he developed initiatives to improve student learning, most notably for students who need help with math, reading and writing.

He earned national recognition for designing and implementing the Degree Compass software program using predictive analytics to increase student retention in college by helping them select courses they need and would most likely complete.

Denley joined APSU in 2009 after leaving the University of Mississippi as chair of Mathematics and senior fellow of the Residential College Program. Originally from Penzance, England, he earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from Trinity College Cambridge, completed advanced studies in mathematics from the University of Cambridge, and earned his bachelor’s degree in pure and applied mathematics from the University of Exeter.

At Austin Peay he earlier led efforts to increase the numbers of degrees awarded and grants funded, created an office for Undergraduate Research and a center for Teaching and Learning, and introduced a variety of programs to improve support of faculty research and creativity.

His work has been recognized by Educause, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and in a host of national media reports. Most recently his efforts at APSU to restructure remediation programs resulted in joint recognition by the Dana Center, Complete College America, Education Commission of the States, and Jobs for the Future as a national model for developmental education.

The TBR began the search for Hall’s replacement in February. Four finalists were identified by the search advisory committee last month and visited campus between April 28th and May 5th.

They are Bradley Cook, provost and executive vice president and professor of history at Southern Utah University; Jerome Gilbert, provost and executive vice president at Mississippi State University; Randall Hanna, chancellor of the Florida College System and Division of Florida Colleges; and Alisa White, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs at the University of Texas at Tyler.

Morgan is in the process of evaluating each candidate in preparation to make a recommendation to the Board for the new president in a couple of weeks.

The Tennessee Board of Regents is among the nation’s largest higher education systems, governing 46 post-secondary educational institutions, including APSU. The TBR system includes six universities, 13 community colleges and the 27 colleges of applied technology, providing programs to more than 200,000 students across the state.


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