ETSU’s transition away from the Tennessee Board of Regents’ control began earlier this year, and this slow process just had another big step.

On Tuesday, Oct. 11, university President Brian Noland named the nominees for the Board of Trustees. These nominees will most likely be the new governing body of ETSU, which is predicted to meet for the first time in April 2017.

Key players in the new body include Dr. Fred Alsop from the College of Arts and Sciences, named as faculty representative, and Dr. David Linville from the Quillen College of Medicine, named Secretary of the Board of Trustees.

For students, this means that a new future is on the horizon for the university. TBR places many restrictions on what universities can do. With ETSU starting to look more and more like the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, it was time for our university to change its governance to allow greater growth.

Perhaps most important to students (or football tailgaters) is TBR’s policy banning alcohol on campus and at university-sponsored events. It is not clear if the new board will keep this policy or amend it to allow alcohol on certain occasions.

The new Board will also need to decide how it will comply with a Tennessee state law that allows full-time employees to carry handguns on campus. TBR policy currently sets the exact compliance standards.

The TBR policy on firearms also technically prohibits students from carrying pepper spray, which many students do not feel comfortable without at night. With new governance, ETSU could have a chance to adopt a more lenient policy on these self defense tools.

While it’s much too early to say for sure what the Board might decide, or even what they might skip over entirely in their first meeting, the new governing board allows ETSU greater freedom to create policies that are customized to our university’s specific climate and situation.