Haslam names former state senator, NES chief to UT board

Gov. Bill Haslam speaks at a press conference at the state Capitol in Nashville on March 1, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Gov. Bill Haslam has made two more appointments to the reconstituted Board of Trustees of the University of Tennessee: former state Sen. Jamie Woodson (R-Knoxville) and Decosta Jenkins, the president and CEO of the Nashville Electric Service.

Here’s the full release:

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today appointed two additional members to the Board of Trustees of the University of Tennessee. Decosta Jenkins and Jamie Woodson join the board in advance of the meeting scheduled for November 2.

The appointments follow passage of the University of Tennessee Focusing On Campus and University Success (FOCUS) Act earlier this year. The legislation restructured the UT Board of Trustees to enhance governance of the UT system.

Jenkins is the president and chief executive officer of Nashville Electric Service, one of the largest public utilities in the country. Jenkins graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a degree in accounting. He previously served as the senior vice president and chief financial officer for NES and, before joining the company, was a certified public accountant with Deloitte.

Woodson is the executive chairman and chief executive officer of the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE), a nonprofit organization focused on improving student success in K-12 education throughout Tennessee. Woodson earned her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Before joining SCORE, she was elected to the Tennessee General Assembly, where she served as chairman of the Senate Education Committee and speaker pro tempore.

Both Jenkins and Woodson reside in Middle Tennessee.

“Jamie and Decosta bring great experience and perspective that will benefit the university,” Haslam said. “They join a strong board that will continue to move the university and state forward.”

The reconstituted board includes alumni from different institutions across the UT system and at least two members from each grand division of the state. The board is comprised of 12 members including the commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and a non-voting student member. A faculty member serves on the Academic Affairs and Student Success committee of the board.

The appointments are effective immediately and are subject to confirmation by the General Assembly. The governor’s final appointee will be named at a later date.

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