The Tennessee College Public Relations Association established this award in honor of Dr. Otis Floyd Jr., the late Chancellor for the Tennessee Board of Regents.

The award is presented annually to a higher education administrator in the state of Tennessee to recognize superior achievement. Criteria considered by a selection committee appointed each year by the president of the TCPRA will include but not be limited to innovation, leadership, vision, and communication. Accomplishments cited can be successful projects, singular personal achievements, or career services. Administrators from any segment of higher education can be considered for the award.

To nominate someone for the Otis Floyd Jr. Award for Excellence in Administration, review the criteria above and submit the nominee’s name as well as an explanation of why the nominee should be considered for the honor. No entry fee is required for this award. Nominations will be accepted through April 15, 2020, and should be emailed to April Hefner at A selection committee will review all nominations. The recipient will be recognized at the awards ceremony at the TCPRA statewide meeting in May.

About Dr. Otis Floyd Jr.

Known for his vision, understanding and integrity, Floyd began his leadership in education as the commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Education and then as vice president for administration at Middle Tennessee State University. In the summer of 1986, he began his tenure at his alma mater, Tennessee State University, as chief administrative officer, and served as the second successive interim president in 1986. He was appointed by the Tennessee Board of Regents as the fifth president of the university.

In 1988, Floyd acquired property in McMinnville for the Tennessee State University Otis L. Floyd Nursery Research Center. The mission of the Nursery Research Center is to provide leadership in the strengthening and expansion of the regional nursery industry through research in the areas of pathology, entomology, genetics, horticulture and related sciences. Floyd placed a heavy emphasis on the need for science education.

Seeing a need for an expansion on campus to house a growing number of students and provide modern academic facilities, Floyd began to secure funds for a large renovation project. He was the instrumental force in acquiring $112 million for construction on the Master Plan project.

Construction projects began in 1989, and under Floyd’s plan, nearly all of the buildings on campus were renovated. Eight new buildings were constructed, including the Floyd‐Payne Campus Center, the Ned McWherter Administration Building, the Wilma Rudolph Residence Center, and the Performing Arts Center. 

Floyd served as president until June 1990, and transitioned to become the first African‐American chancellor of the State Board of Regents for Tennessee from July 1990 until his death in 1993.

In 1997, the Tennessee Board of Regents established the Dr. Otis L. Floyd Scholarship from proceeds derived from the sale of former Chancellor Floyd’s residence. The scholarship is still awarded to deserving students today, and students who receive the scholarship are charged with working to make an impact in education.

Past Award Recipients

ConferenceAward Winner
2019 Spring Conference Matthew Gann
2018 Spring ConferenceDr. Joe DiPietro
2012 Spring ConferenceMonica Greppin-Watts
2011 Spring ConferenceRandy Lowry
2010 Spring ConferencePeggy Wilson
2009 Spring ConferenceDr. Robert Fisher
2008 Spring ConferenceDennie Burke
2007 Spring ConferenceMichael Schoenfeld