Higher Education Resource Officer Begins New Job

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

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.

Eldie Dickey Annual Scholarship To Honor Former Teacher

When Rick Lay was in grade school, he was an average student. His fifth grade teacher, Eldie Dickey, changed that.  “Up through fourth grade, I was a C student, I was an average student,” Mr. Lay said. “In fifth grade, Eldie took me one day, put his arm around me, and said ‘listen, you’re not average. You have a very great mind, and there’s no reason for you to be making ... (click for more)

McCallie Honors Eight With Alumni Achievement Awards

The awards are just one of the many traditions around Reunion Weekend at McCallie... Every year at Reunion Weekend, a select few alumni are recognized by their classmates and their alma mater for their outstanding professional achievements. This year, at a Saturday lunchtime ceremony in Alumni Hall, eight members of reunion classes were thus honored. They are:  Joe Crespino ... (click for more)

Legislative Hearing On Volkswagen Emissions Scandal To Be Held In Chattanooga Oct. 29; Haslam To Visit VW Plant Wednesday

The Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee’s Appropriation Subcommittee will be conducting a hearing in Chattanooga to review the financial impact on the state from Volkswagen’s violation of U.S. emissions standards. The meeting will be held at the Hamilton County Department of Education, 3074 Hickory Valley Road, on Thursday, Oct. 29, from 1:30-3:30 p.m.  Members ... (click for more)

Bradley County Commission Decides Not To Provide Animal Pickup Service

Bradley County Commissioners on Monday finally put animal control to rest. It was not easy and it was not without confusion, but in the end, the county will not provide animal pickup service. Confusion began when commissioners were asked to approve the agenda, which included two options for animal control pick up. Item “D” provided for the SPCA of Bradley County to pick ... (click for more)

VW PILOT Crash Landing

The Volkswagen emission scandal proves the point citizen activist, Ms. Helen Burns Sharp, has repeatedly brought to the attention of local government officials. She urged them to "beef up" the PILOT contracts before approving PILOT tax abatements. Any logical person would agree, because it is the only way to recoup a tax loss when unthinkable situations arise. Volkswagen's willful ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: VW’s Primer In Disaster

Volkswagen America has gotten into a real bad “tight,” causing their red-faced leaders to huddle with spin doctors, crisis consultants and countless priests in confessional booths. Conversely, I suspect I have found a solution that would get them out of the mud and hasten their return as one of the top automotive providers in the world. You see, on Aug. 14, 1979, the playbook on ... (click for more)