Other ways to search: Events Calendar | UTHSC

My Priorities for the University of Tennessee


I am truly honored to have the opportunity to serve my alma mater, the University of Tennessee, and my state.  We have experienced eight years of unprecedented success under Dr. Joe DiPietro, and we are deeply appreciative of his leadership. We must ensure we do not lose momentum during the transition to the next generation of visionary leadership. It is vital that we continue to do the important work currently underway, from building the endowment to enhancing educational opportunities.

During the months prior to taking office, I have traveled the state to listen and learn from many stakeholders both inside and outside of the University of Tennessee system.  From those discussions, I have outlined six primary objectives for my tenure.

  1. Succession planning and recruitment. We will launch a search for the next chancellor of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville soon with a search for a new president set to begin in 2020.
  2. Increase talent development. The University of Tennessee is the talent development engine of the state, producing 11,806 graduates last year.  Together, we will focus on strategies that improve graduation rates, improve recruitment of both in-state and out-of-state students and grow online education programs.
  3. Enhance the relationship with ORNL. The long-term relationship between UT and ORNL, the geographic proximity of the two institutions, and UT’s co-management of the lab makes this partnership unique and provides the University an opportunity that allows development of these distinctive programs. We will plan to explore opportunities for all UT campuses and institutes to expand our engagement with ORNL and explore ways to implement a system-wide strategy.
  4. Advance Engagement. Engaging directly in the community is a primary mission of the University of Tennessee. We will work together across the system to bring greater visibility to ongoing programs across all 95 counties and explore organizing engagement efforts at the system level to ensure maximum benefit for the state.
  5. Strengthen and clarify the relationship between UT System Administration and its campuses and institutes. We are stronger together, and we will work across the system to create a culture of collaborating and coordinating on initiatives, leveraging partnerships, and developing bold new strategies and exciting opportunities.
  6. Build the brand. We will launch efforts to enhance the University of Tennessee brand by providing greater transparency and accountability supported by data analytics to give the university meaningful reports with actionable data to make informed decisions.

I have always been passionate about helping students achieve their dream of a college education. I’m excited to have the opportunity to continue this work as a part of the University I love and that has meant so much to me, my community and my state. While these are my initial observations and priorities, they will likely evolve as I continue to listen, learn and discuss with individuals across the system and the state.

I look forward to working with you!