State Senator Paul Bailey has concerns about the TCAT Crossville-Livingston administrative merger voted on Friday.
Bailey said he voiced his concerns to the Tennessee Board of Regents.
“I saw the writing on the wall very early that TBR was taking a pathway that they wanted to try having one director over both systems,” Bailey said. “No matter how hard the community pushed back against that. No matter how much I spoke about my concerns of having one director. The system felt like this was something they wanted to try, so that’s where we are today.”
The two campuses will continue to operate in the individual communities. It is believed TCAT Crossville President Cliff Wightman will now oversee both campuses. Wightman was already serving as Livingston’s Interim President after the retirement of Myra West last year. Bailey said Livingston not having a full-time president factored into the decision as to what campuses would merge.
“I think the executive director will work to try and make sure that both TCAT Livingston and TCAT Crossville are the best systems we have in the state of Tennessee,” Bailey said. “I think he will work to make sure that anyone that wants to be a student at one of these TCAT systems will be welcome, and the programs they have in place and implemented will be the best that we have in the entire state.”
Bailey said he understands that local leaders are concerned about the changes.
“We will just have to wait and see if the decision made by the counselor of the Tennessee Board of Regents is really the right decision for our TCAT system and especially here for the Upper Cumberland,” Bailey said.