Doctorate not required for Tech presidency

The Tennessee Board of Regents chose do not require a doctoral degree in order to become the next president at Tech.

TBR voted on the criteria for Tech’s presidential search during their quarterly board meeting Sept. 23. Among the qualifications for each candidate, the first one listed states that they must have “an earned doctorate from an accredited institution (preferred).”

“The earned doctorate is not required, but is preferred, so candidates without a doctorate can apply and be considered,” said Monica Greppin-Watts, communications director of TBR.

The list of qualifications also states that the candidate must have a minimum of five years of successful campus administrative experience.

“The search firm working with the Board felt it would help attract a broader and more diverse pool of candidates, including those with proven experience in fields related to or other than higher education,” Greppin-Watts said. “However, the terminal degree will be a very strong preference.”

Sophomore Briana Fulton said “I feel like with a doctorate, they have a better understanding of how to do the job and that they would perform at a higher degree.”

However, there are current university presidents without a doctorate. One example is James Danko, who became president of Butler University in August 2011.

According to an article in the Butler Collegian, Jay Howard, dean of the college of liberal arts and sciences at Butler, defended President Danko about earning his new position.

“Some faculty will have some degree of suspicions [of a president without a Ph.D.], but I believe that President Danko has the ability to win over their approval,” Howard said. “He realizes it’s his job to inspire and challenge the staff. I think President Danko is capable of doing it.”

Prior to his presidency at Butler, Danko lead the business school at Villanova University, where financial giving more than quadrupled while he was there. Because of his success there, Butler chose Danko to help strengthen their fundraising and financial goals.

By hiring someone with just a master’s degree, it opens the door to applicants who may not have a doctorate, but do have a strengthened background that could help Tech increase current financial giving.

For the presidential search at Tech, TBR has yet to announce a search committee, and it is also unknown how many applicants there are so far.

For more information on the presidential search at Tech, as well as the search criteria, visit