Chandra Alston, EdD, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, has been named vice chancellor for Human Resources at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.
Dr. Alston has served as associate vice chancellor of HR since 2013, shortly after taking over as interim director after the previous retired on short notice in 2012. At the time, Dr. Alston was assistant dean of finance and administration in the College of Health Professions.
She agreed to lead Human Resources while campus administrators launched a national search for a new director. Within weeks, Dr. Alston was nominated for the post by a high-ranking administrator who knew her work ethic. She got the job. “This is really where I have a gift,” Dr. Alston said.
In nearly 10 years as associate vice chancellor, she has overseen HR functions for nearly 3,900 employees on UTHSC health care campuses in Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville, including multiple compensation changes and improvements to employee orientation processes. The work only intensified in the pandemic when HR was put in charge of supporting remote work, managing leave and tracking campus outbreaks.
In her new role, she will serve in the Chancellor’s Cabinet as well as lead the ongoing re-engineering and automation efforts across all HR operations at UTHSC.
“I am extremely proud of Dr. Chandra Alston. Throughout the entire time we’ve worked together, she has consistently exceeded my expectations. She has earned credibility not only on the UTHSC campus but throughout the whole UT System,” said Ken Brown, JD, MPA, PhD, FACHE, executive vice chancellor and chief operations officer.
“Dr. Alston’s promotion to vice chancellor of Human Resources is well-deserved, and I know that she will have continued success in this new role.”
Dr. Alston is a member of the faculty in the UTHSC College of Pharmacy and the UT Executive Leadership Institute. She founded the UTHSC Women’s Resource Group and is the senior administrative sponsor of UTHSC’s Young Professional’s Group. She began work at UTHSC in 1999 in the IT Department.
She has earned several high-profile awards in the last year, including the 2021 Faculty Excellence Award given by the Institute of Public Service. Late this winter, she received the MBJ HR Impact Award. Dr. Alston also serves on the Literacy Mid-South board of directors and will serve as chairperson, starting July 1.
Dr. Alston earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from UT-Martin, an MBA in management from Union University and a doctorate from the University of Memphis. She holds a certificate in diversity coaching from Howard University and a certificate in leading workplace diversity from the Rice University Jones Graduate School of Business.