About THEC


The Tennessee Higher Education Commission is relentlessly focused on increasing the number of Tennesseans with a post secondary credential. We pursue this goal by innovating for student access and success, creating a policy environment conducive to increased degree attainment,  and protecting students and consumers.


The Tennessee Higher Education Commission was created in 1967 by the Tennessee General Assembly to achieve coordination and foster unity with regard to higher education in the state. The Commission coordinates and provides guidance to the institutions governed by the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees, the six locally-governed state universities, and the community colleges, and colleges of applied technology governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents. There are currently nine public universities, two special purpose institutes, 13 community colleges, and 27 colleges of applied technology in Tennessee that serve approximately 250,000 students.

The Commission is composed of nine voting members appointed from the general public, each serving six-year terms and representing the Grand Divisions of the State equally. Of these nine members, three are appointed by the General Assembly and six are appointed by the Governor. The state Constitutional Officers (Comptroller of the Treasury, State Treasurer, and Secretary of State)  serve as ex-officio voting members. Additionally, one voting student member serves a one-year term and the Executive Director of the State Board of Education serves as an ex-officio non-voting member.