Director of the Center for Community College Leadership and Professor of Educational
Leadership and Policy Analysis, ETSU
Richard Rhoda is the Director of the Center for Community College Leadership and Professor
of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at East Tennessee State University.
Dr. Rhoda began his career with the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) as a member of
the research staff in 1973. He has served as interim president at Austin Peay State
University and Nashville State Community College, vice chancellor and acting chancellor
of TBR, held several roles with Tennessee State University, and served on the faculty
at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Rhoda received his bachelor’s degree in history from
Vanderbilt University, his master’s degree in education from George Peabody College
for Teachers at Vanderbilt, and his Ph.D. in higher education administration from
Vanderbilt. Rhoda served on the boards of the University of Tennessee, TBR, State
Board of Education, TSAC, Board of Trustees of the Baccalaureate Education System
Trust and Tennessee Foreign Language Institute. His civic activities include serving
as chairman of the board for the Center for Nonprofit Management, chairman of the
board of the Elephant Sanctuary of Tennessee, as a member of the Downtown Nashville
Rotary Club and Leadership Nashville Alumni Association. Rhoda and his wife, Nancy,
live in Nashville and have two grown children, Meredith and Nicholas. Dr. Rhoda is
one of the longest serving state higher education executives in the country.
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
Chief Research Officer for the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC)
Emily House is the Chief Research Officer for the Tennessee Higher Education Commission
(THEC). In this capacity, Emily develops and executes THEC’s research agenda, investigating
issues in higher education related to access, affordability, retention, and completion.
Her team publishes the set of annual legislative reports for which THEC is responsible,
and responds to requests from legislators and policymakers for data and information.
Emily facilitates THEC’s involvement with the Tennessee Longitudinal Data System,
and works 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 PhD in education
from the University of Michigan.