As the Tennessee General Assembly continues its efforts to boost the state’s college graduation rates, it is more important than ever that higher education faculty, staff and employees are able to work as efficiently and effectively as they can. Now there is an employee in the state Comptroller’s office who will help faculty, staff and employees navigate institutional barriers that may be limiting their ability to meet desired goals.
Effective this week, Nneka Norman-Gordon has begun work as the state’s higher education resource officer. The General Assembly created the new position during this year’s legislative session.
Ms. Norman-Gordon will serve as a liaison and resource for faculty, staff and other employees at state colleges and universities regarding any issues they may have in dealing with institutional red tape. For example, when a faculty member transfers from one college to another, Ms. Norman-Gordon will be available to make sure the transition is as smooth as possible.
Also, one of Ms. Norman-Gordon’s primary responsibilities will be reviewing whether higher education policies align with legislators’ goals. She will make annual reports to the General Assembly about progress made toward meeting those goals.
Ms. Norman-Gordon has worked for the Comptroller’s office for more than eight years, most recently as a legislative research analyst for the Offices of Research and Education Accountability. In that role, she provided members of the General Assembly and the public with research on a variety of policy issues, including education, safety, law enforcement and mental health. She is also part of a team within the Comptroller’s office that monitors legislation under consideration by the General Assembly.
She holds a master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology from Austin Peay State University and is a 2012 graduate of the Tennessee Government Management Institute.
“I commend the General Assembly for recognizing the need for this position and providing funding in the budget that created it,” said Comptroller Justin P. Wilson. “The General Assembly is investing substantial amounts of money in improving higher education so it is important to have safeguards in place to make sure that investment is protected.”
“I look forward to serving the faculty, staff and employees of our state’s great colleges and universities,” Ms. Norman-Gordon said. “As part of my outreach efforts, I will be visiting college campuses to let them know that I am available to assist them with their needs. I view a large part of my job as providing constituent services to a group that is entrusted with helping to educate Tennesseans.”
To contact Ms. Norman-Gordon, call toll-free at 855/440-4376 or e-mail HERO@cot.tn.gov.