Dr. Richard Rhoda
Director of the Center for Community College Leadership and Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, ETSU
Richard G. Rhoda retired in 2014 as executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, after serving in the post for 17 years. He dedicated his entire 40-year career to higher education in Tennessee, first joining the Tennessee Board of Regents staff as a graduate student. Over the course of his career, he served in the administration of Tennessee State University and was a member of the senior staff of the Tennessee Board of Regents. He held interim appointments as president of Nashville State Community College and Austin Peay State University, and as chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents. He also taught at Vanderbilt University as a full-time and adjunct professor.
Over the span of his tenure at THEC, Rhoda chaired the legislative committee that designed the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship program, assumed executive responsibility for the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation, and contributed to the design and implementation of the Complete College Tennessee Act of 2010 and the Drive to 55 initiative. Upon retirement, he was named executive director emeritus of THEC.
In post-retirement, Rhoda directs the East Tennessee State University Center for Community College Leadership and teaches as an adjunct professor. He served as interim dean of the ETSU Clemmer College in 2016-17.
Rhoda earned a B.A. in History, M.A. in Education, and Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration, all from Vanderbilt University. He chairs the board of directors of the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee and serves on the Nashville State Community College Foundation Board and the Equal Chance for Education board of directors.
Dr. Jill Channing
Dr. Jill Channing serves as Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at East Tennessee State University. Prior to coming to ETSU, Dr. Channing served as Dean of Liberal Arts at Truckee Meadows Community College. She has also previously served as Associate Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at Kankakee Community College in Kankakee, IL and as Director of Writing Programs and English Department Head at Mitchell Community College in Statesville, NC. She has over a decade of experience leading academic departments and teaching at the college level. She earned a B.A. and an M.A. in English from Wright State University in Dayton, OH. Dr. Channing also holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Cultural Studies from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Dr. Channing has published numerous articles and presented on various topics related to teaching writing and literature, culture and education, and higher education leadership. In her spare time, Dr. Channing enjoys reading, writing, running, practicing yoga, traveling, playing with J. Gatsby (her cat), and drinking Michelob Ultra.
Dr. Emily House
Deputy Executive Director for the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC)
Emily House is the Deputy Executive Director for the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC). Dr. House Previously led the THEC/TSAC Research and planning team which developed and executed THEC's research agenda, investigating issues of higher education related to access affordability retention and completion. Her team published the set of annual legislative reports for which THEC is responsible, and responded to requests from legislators and policymakers for data and information. Emily facilitated THEC’s involvement with the Tennessee Longitudinal Data System, and worked very closely with Governor Haslam’s staff to design, implement, and evaluate the effects of various Drive to 55 initiatives, including the Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect programs. Emily holds degrees in public policy from Cornell University, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Michigan, and has a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Michigan.