Cynthia Russell Named Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic, Faculty and Student Affairs

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Dr. Cynthia Russell has been named interim vice chancellor of Academic, Faculty and Student Affairs.

Cynthia Russell, PhD, RN, has been named interim vice chancellor of Academic, Faculty and Student Affairs (AFSA) at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. She will begin her new role in early 2021.

Dr. Russell previously served as the associate vice chancellor for Faculty Affairs, a role she’s held since 2012. In addition, Dr. Russell holds a faculty appointment as professor in the Department of Acute and Tertiary Care in the College of Nursing.

Dr. Russell has more than 27 years of continuous service at the university. She began her career as an assistant professor in the College of Nursing in 1993. She then served as an associate professor from 1999-2005.

From 1993-2000, as part of her faculty practice in the College of Nursing, Dr. Russell practiced as an adult nurse practitioner at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Memphis, as the sole primary care provider in a newly established Chronic Cardiac Clinic.

In 2000, she was promoted to director of Distributive Programs for the College of Nursing and has held numerous leadership positions within the college including assistant dean of Distributive Programs, associate dean of Distributive Programs, and interim associate dean and department chair of Advanced Practice and Doctoral Studies.

She began her role with AFSA in 2008, when she became director of the Faculty Resource Center. In 2010, Dr. Russell was named assistant vice chancellor of Faculty Affairs and Educational Technology. In addition, she served as interim director of the Teaching and Learning Center from 2015-2018.

Dr. Russell is a graduate of the Holzer Medical Center School of Nursing in Gallipolis, Ohio. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Ohio University, a master’s degree in Nursing from West Virginia University, and a PhD in Nursing Science from the University of Arizona.

She has received numerous honors including a Presidential Citation, Administrator of the Year (twice), the Exceptional Meritorious Achievement Award, and the Faculty Senator of the Year Award from the UTHSC Faculty Senate. Dr. Russell is also a recipient of a Teaching Award from the Student Government Association Executive Council and was selected to UTHSC’s Academy of Distinguished Professors.

“It is an honor to be selected to assume this role that is vital to the well-being of UTHSC,” Dr. Russell said. “It is a privilege to have the opportunity to work with everyone in AFSA as we continue to move forward in our shared commitment to serve our institution. Under Dr. Lori Gonzalez’s committed leadership, our units have worked effectively with our colleges, academic programs, students, and faculty members to achieve numerous positive outcomes. I look forward to continuing to build on her success.”

Lori Gonzalez, PhD, has served as the vice chancellor of AFSA since 2015 and will be leaving UTHSC at the end of January.