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The Tennessee Board of Regents has approved Chris Whaley as Roane State Community College’s newest president.
Whaley, a Roane State alumnus and current vice president of student learning and chief academic officer, was recommended by TBR Chancellor John Morgan and unanimously approved by regents participating in a telephonic meeting.
“To say it is an honor I guess is the understatement of the world to me,” Whaley said after the vote.
He said his wife Cindy, also a Roane State alumnus, was there for the news and has been a source of support.
“We cannot be more proud and more excited about the future,” Whaley added.
Whaley will begin his newest role at the college Nov. 1, after the retirement of Gary Goff.
Goff, after seven years as college president, is returning to Florida to be close to his children and grandchildren.
Whaley’s salary will be $154,410.
Whaley considered Goff a mentor.
“I feel like I’ve learned a lot from him,” Whaley said.
Whaley also spoke of the encouragement he’s gotten from college faculty and staff. He said he is looking forward to working with them in his new capacity.
“It is just a pleasure to get to roll up my sleeves and work with them,” he said.
Morgan had nothing but praise, not only for Whaley, but for all 52 candidates who applied.
He said he believes the quality of those candidates had at least something to do with a new law that makes their names confidential until a finalist list is named.
Regent Danni Varlan, who chaired the advisory search committee, also praised Whaley.
“We are all going to look forward to working with Chris,” Varlan said. Not only was he a wonderful candidate but “he’s been a wonderful employee in the roles he’s had already at Roane State,” Varlan said.
Whaley lives in Harriman, also has a license to practice law.