HERO Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Higher Education Resource Officer?

The Higher Education Resource Officer (HERO) is housed within the Office of the Comptroller of the Treasury, as part of the legislative branch of Tennessee state government. The HERO provides independent oversight of state government’s responsiveness to faculty, staff, and employees of Tennessee’s public higher education institutions and systems.

What can the Higher Education Resource Officer do for me?

The HERO is available to support public higher education faculty, staff, and employees in higher education by:

  • Informally mediating to resolve issues raised by public higher education faculty, staff, and employees about Tennessee’s public higher education institutions and systems.
  • Responding to questions about Tennessee’s public universities, community colleges, and colleges of applied technology, as well as the University of Tennessee System and the Tennessee Board of Regents.
  • Evaluating administrative policies and procedures in public higher education for the General Assembly.
When should I contact the Higher Education Resource Officer?
  • When you are trying to resolve an issue with a Tennessee public higher education institution or system.
  • When you need help obtaining a response from a Tennessee public higher education institution or system.
  • When you have experienced challenges navigating the administrative policies and procedures of Tennessee’s public higher education institutions and systems.
How do I contact the Higher Education Resource Officer?

The HERO may be contacted by phone, e-mail, or through an electronic contact form. Please see below.

Phone: (615) 401-7866
Toll free phone: 1-855-440-HERO (4376)
E-mail: hero@cot.tn.gov

Click HERE to access the electronic contact form.

What happens when I ask the Higher Education Resource Officer for assistance?

The HERO will contact you to discuss your issues in more detail. If no additional information is necessary, the HERO will provide you with an official response via e-mail or telephone.


If additional information is necessary, the HERO will bring the issues you have raised to the attention of the appropriate higher education institution or system. The HERO has a designated point of contact at each higher education institution and system in Tennessee. A complete list of the HERO’s points of contact can be found HERE.


The HERO may continue to follow up as needed with the higher education institution or system, and may communicate each party’s position to the other and informally mediate any disputes until the issue is resolved. The HERO will keep you informed throughout the process and provide you with an official response and address any follow-up questions or concerns. Visit HERE for more information on this process.

Can I remain anonymous?

If you do not wish to disclose your identity, you may choose to remain anonymous. However, you are encouraged (but not obligated) to provide your contact information so you can be contacted if additional information is needed. Contact information will only be shared to the extent necessary and only with those who need to know.

Can I report fraud, waste, and abuse to the Higher Education Resource Officer?

No. If you suspect fraud, waste, or abuse, you may contact the public higher education institution’s internal auditor or the Comptroller’s Fraud, Waste, and Abuse Hotline at 1-800-232-5454 or online at www.comptroller.tn.gov/hotline.