Third TN community college chief exits amid controversy

The president of Nashville State Community College is retiring effective Dec. 31, the middle of the school year following a lengthy tenure that was marked by impressive growth as well as flare-ups with some faculty, reports WPLN.

George Van Allen’s announcement makes the third community college president departure this year: The president of Northeast State retired shortly after faculty passed a no-confidence vote; the president of Motlow State resigned after an audit criticized his leadership.

By some metrics, Nashville State has been a highlight of the Tennessee Board of Regents system in the two and a half decades since George Van Allen took the helm. He expanded the school by adding six branch campuses around Middle Tennessee, including one underway in Madison. Enrollment is up by a third compared to a decade ago. 

But a report obtained by the Tennessean earlier this year also shed light on conflict within the school. Faculty accused Van Allen of creating a hostile working environment with low trust in his leadership. He defended his work and said any critics were in the minority.

Note: The Tennessean story on Van Allen’s resignation is HERE.

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Former Knoxville News Sentinel capitol bureau chief Tom Humphrey writes about Tennessee politics, government, and legislative news.
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