Tennessee Board of Regents appoints Dr. Wendi Tostenson president of Vol State!

Dr. Wendi Tostenson

Dr. Wendi Tostenson

NASHVILLE (May 6, 2024) – The Tennessee Board of Regents today appointed Dr. Wendi W. Tostenson as the next president of Volunteer State Community College, effective July 1.

Dr. Tostenson currently serves as vice chancellor of education and student services at Louisiana Delta Community College. She has held that role since 2021, after joining the college in 2019 as its executive director of workforce/economic development. Previously, from 2011 to 2019, she served in administrative roles at Southern Regional Technical College in Georgia – lastly as executive director of student affairs/registrar. She has also been an adjunct online professor of American government at Southern Regional since 2007.

She earned a Doctor of Public Administration from Valdosta State University, a Master of Business Administration from the University of West Georgia, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Georgia. Her complete résumé and more information about the search process and the college are posted on the TBR  website at https://www.tbr.edu/hr/executivesearches/president-volunteer-state-community-college.  

“I am deeply honored and humbled to accept the position of President of Volunteer State Community College. Joining the Tennessee Board of Regents system and the Volunteer State family fills me with immense gratitude and excitement,” Dr. Tostenson said.

“I am committed to fostering an environment where every student can thrive, where faculty and staff are supported, and where our community's needs are met. Together, we will continue to uphold the values of excellence, inclusivity, and innovation that define Volunteer State Community College. I look forward to working collaboratively with all stakeholders to ensure a bright future for our institution and the students we serve,” she said.

In other action during its special called meeting, the board approved search criteria for the next president of Tennessee College of Applied Technology Elizabethton, where President David Hicks plans to resign effective June 28. The criteria approved today are included in the board materials posted at https://www.tbr.edu/board/may-6-2024-special-called-board-meeting

Today’s teleconference meeting was live-streamed on the TBR website and is archived for viewing on the meeting link above. 

Tostenson was one of three finalists for the Vol State presidency selected by a search advisory committee composed of four board members, representatives of the college’s students, faculty, staff and alumni, and civic and business leaders from the community.  The finalists participated in open forums with the campus community and the public April 24-26.

After the forums, Chancellor Tydings reviewed survey results submitted from the public and campus community and had personal interviews with the finalists and discussions with search committee members. She then recommended Tostenson for the board’s consideration, and the board voted unanimously today for her appointment as president.

She will succeed Dr. Orinthia T. Montague, the college’s fourth president, who passed away on Sept. 22, 2023.  Dr. Russ Deaton, TBR executive vice chancellor for policy and strategy, is serving as interim president. The president is the college’s chief executive officer.

Board Vice Chair Reynolds served as chair of the search committee; Regents MaryLou Apple, Layah Garton and Todd Kaestner served as committee members as well. “We recognize the considerable amount of time devoted to identifying the best candidates and thank all who served on the search committee,” Dr. Tydings said.

The Board of Regents approved criteria for the next president Oct. 20, the search committee was appointed in January, and an initial public forum on the search process was held Jan. 26. After the position was posted, the committee reviewed applications and interviewed selected candidates before recommending the finalists last month.

Volunteer State is one of the 13 public community colleges and 24 colleges of applied technology in the College System of Tennessee, governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents. Vol State is a comprehensive, two-year community college with its main campus in Gallatin, branch campuses in Cookeville, Livingston and Springfield, and other teaching sites in its 11-county primary service area. The college enrolls approximately 7,000 credit-seeking students and has more than 450 full-time employees. Additional information is available on the college’s website at volstate.edu.