skip to main content columnskip to left navigationskip to horizontal navigation

Office of Community & Government Relations

Office of the President

Office of Government Relations

Our Mission: Develop relationships that showcase and provide ETSU resources and services which are mutually beneficial to local, state and federal community and governmental partners. 

Functions of the office:  Responsible to the university president for developing and implementing the institution's political engagement strategy with federal, state and local elected officials, regulatory agencies, and key policy makers; representing the institution before key government officials and policy makers; advising the President and institution Senior Staff on the impact of proposed legislation and determining an appropriate response; and performing other related duties as assigned.


ETSU Receives $500,000 State Appropriation

Members of the Tennessee Northeast Delegation to the 2018 General Assembly pose with ETSU leadership in a group photograph


JOHNSON CITY (May 24, 2018) – East Tennessee State University has been awarded a $500,000 state appropriation to bolster the work of its Center for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment. On Thursday, ETSU leaders hosted a reception to thank several state officials for their efforts in garnering the funding.

“The lives of thousands of Tennesseans are going to be positively impacted because of your leadership,” said Dr. Brian Noland, ETSU president. “This is an issue that is in all of our back yards. It runs through our homes, our schools, our churches. It is here and we are an institution that is trying to do our part to make a difference.”

Tennessee Speaker of the House Beth Harwell noted that after establishing a task force in 2017 to address the opioid epidemic, the first place she decided to visit was ETSU. At a forum held on campus last year, Harwell and members of the task force on opioid and prescription drug abuse learned more about the epidemic from ETSU experts as well as efforts underway to combat it.

“I believe ETSU’s center can truly be the model for this state. You are laying the groundwork for the rest of the state to follow,” Harwell said Thursday morning. “I am proud we could come together and we were able to get the additional funding.”

Rep. Gary Hicks, who carried the appropriation bill in the House of Representatives, thanked ETSU for “stepping up to the plate” to address the opioid epidemic and credited the university’s “high-impact treatment and prevention programs” in the arena with already saving lives.

“This $500,000 appropriation will ensure the excellent work being performed at ETSU will continue as we try to eradicate the opioid epidemic,” said Hicks, an ETSU alumnus. “There’s no silver bullet to stop this issue. It will continue to take a multi-faceted approach.”

Dr. Rob Pack, executive director of the center, agreed that a multi-faceted approach is needed, noting that the goal of the center is to expand the use of evidence-based tools and involve all aspects of the community in the effort.

“At the Center for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment, our intention is serve as a central clearinghouse for high-impact programs, helping to align and accelerate the great work many institutions are already doing and then leveraging those activities for even greater impact,” Pack said. “Our vision is a Central Appalachia that is free of the burden of illicit drug abuse. It is going to take a while, but this is personal for all of us and we are doing our level best to fight this epidemic.”

The ETSU Center for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment was established in the spring of 2016. It is an outgrowth of the ETSU Prescription Drug Abuse and Misuse Working Group, a network of community and university stakeholders established by the university in 2012 to address the growing epidemic.

Last month, the center was awarded the 2018 Public Health Excellence award from the United States Public Health Service. The award recognizes ETSU’s strong community focus on the prevention and treatment of substance abuse throughout East Tennessee and the region. In addition to Harwell and the House task force, several others have visited ETSU to hear more about its efforts to combat opioid abuse, including U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams and Dr. Robert Califf, commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration at the time of his visit.

Visit the webpage for more information about The ETSU Center for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment.



ETSU Legislative Luncheon

The Gray Fossil Site & Museum - Gray, TN

October 17, 2017

President Noland speaking to legislators

      Tour of Gray


Tour of Gray 1



ETSU Legislative Luncheon

The Hermitage Hotel - Nashville, TN

February 7, 2017


Dr. Noland and Legislative Interns Govenor Haslam



The Business Journal of Tri-Cities, TN/VA 2016 Healthcare Heroes

 July 15, 2016

2016 Healthcare Heroes holding their awards

PHOTO: (front, l-r) Jennifer Whitehead: Healthcare Hero; Patti Vanhook: Healthcare Hero; Ginny Kidwell: Healthcare Hero; (back, l-r) Randy Wykoff: Cup of Kindness, Community Service; Mike Stoots: Cup of Kindness, Innovention; Rob Pack: Healthcare Hero.

Healthcare Heroes are the men and women who go above and beyond the call of duty every day to keep our region's people and businesses well cared for.



Governor Bill Haslam signs the FOCUS Bill into law at ETSU

June 13, 2016

TN Governor Bill Haslam signs FOCUS Bill into law, accompanied by state legislators and ETSU President Brian Noland.PHOTO: Governor Bill Haslam (seated) is accompanied at the FOCUS signing event by (l-r) ETSU President Brian Noland, Representative David Hawk, Representative Bud Hulsey, Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey, Senator Rusty Crowe, Senator Steve Southerland, Representative Jon Lundberg, Representative John Holsclaw, and Representative Matthew Hill.

ETSU President Brian Noland speaks to the audience about FOCUS bill before the signing event. President Brian Noland welcomes Governor Bill Haslam to ETSU for the FOCUS Bill signing on June 13, 2016.

TN Governor Bill Haslam speaks to audience about FOCUS Bill.     Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey speaks to the audience about  the FOCUS Bill.



 ETSU Civility Week

March 28 - April 3, 2016

ETSU Associate Vice President for Community and Government Relations, Bridget Baird, poses with former Speaker of the U.S. House, Newt Gingrich on March 31, 2016PHOTO: Bridget Baird, ETSU Associate Vice President for Community & Government Relations (left) and Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives (right).

Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, addressed "Civility in Politics" in a public lecture at ETSU on March 31st.



Governor Bill Haslam walks across campus with President NolandETSU President Brian Noland escorts Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam on a tour of the Johnson City main campus




Government Relations Advisory Council

Mike Fishman
George Jaynes
Bill Jenkins
CeeGee McCord
Richard Montgomery
Dr. Jack Parton
Dr. Mack Patton
Dennis Phillips
Sindy Ramsey
Melissa Steagall-Jones

Dr. Brian Noland
Bridget Baird

University Government

Student Government Association

Faculty Senate

Staff Senate

University Governance Organizations

Register to Vote

Tennessee Voter Registration

Your TN Voter Registration Information

Find Your TN County Election Office

The office of Adult, Commuter & Transfer Services in the Division of Student Affairs can provide students, faculty & staff with voter registration forms for those who wish to to register to vote in the state of Tennessee. You can stop by their office at any time during business hours to pick up a form. Once the form is completed, you can mail it to your County Election Commission office or bring it to the ACTS office & they will gladly mail it for you.

Register to Vote in Another State


ETSU Regional Effect on Communities

ETSU Economic Impact Study

ETSU Fact Book

TBR Legislative Digests

2016 Legislative Compilation

2015 Legislative Compilation

icon for left menu icon for right menu