Steve J. Schwab, MD, chancellor at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), has named Lori S. Gonzalez, PhD, vice chancellor of Academic, Faculty and Student Affairs. Dr. Gonzalez joins UTHSC from the University of North Carolina General Administration, the North Carolina higher education authority, where she served as special advisor to the chief academic officer. As the chief academic officer of UTHSC and its statewide campuses, Dr. Gonzalez will report directly to the chancellor. She is expected to assume her new responsibilities, working from UTHSC’s main campus in Memphis, on July 1.
“With more than 27 years of experience in higher education at the university-wide, division, department and college levels, Dr. Gonzalez brings a wealth of experience and insight to this position,” said Dr. Schwab. “We look forward to the many contributions she is sure to make to our statewide campus community.”
The vice chancellor of Academic, Faculty and Student Affairs is responsible for setting policy and procedure for all academic programs as well as for the development and execution of strategic initiatives to promote these programs. Her office will be responsible for the vision, leadership, policy, and monitoring of academic, faculty, and student affairs for UTHSC. Vigorous advocacy for the academic programs and the intellectual life of the university community is essential.
Dr. Gonzalez will work closely with the deans and other vice chancellors to set academic priorities and to allocate funds to move these priorities forward. She will collaborate with the deans and lead academic planning, policy, curriculum, and program development efforts; provide for meaningful faculty and academic staff development activities; and establish academic budgeting priorities. In this role, Dr. Gonzalez will also serve as the primary academic officer for the interface with the Faculty Senate and academic officers in all colleges.
Dr. Gonzalez will assume the position being vacated by Cheryl R. Scheid, PhD, who has served as UTHSC vice chancellor of Academic, Faculty and Student Affairs since September 2006. In late 2014, Dr. Scheid announced her plans to retire at the end of June 2015, the close of the state’s fiscal year.
“Dr. Scheid has served the UTHSC community with commitment, caring and sound judgment, forging close partnerships with her counterparts at the UT system, and working to adjust and improve our organization’s academic processes and policies,” Chancellor Schwab said. “We wish her all the best as she embarks on her next chapter.”
Prior to joining the University of North Carolina in October 2014, Dr. Gonzalez served for three years as provost and executive vice chancellor at Appalachian State University in North Carolina. Before that she spent 20 years at the University of Kentucky, taking on roles that grew in both levels of responsibility and leadership including assistant professor, associate professor, associate dean for Academic Affairs, and then dean and professor for the College of Health Sciences. Her first 11 years in academia included varied teaching, research and clinical roles that laid the foundation for her successful forays into her expanded teaching and administration positions.
She has extensive experience as a public speaker, has given more than 25 invited presentations, and has produced or contributed to some 140 refereed presentations, abstracts, book chapters and peer-reviewed articles. Dr. Gonzalez holds a BA with High Distinction in speech pathology and audiology from the University of Kentucky, and an MA in communication disorders from Eastern Kentucky University. She received her PhD from the University of Florida. Dr. Gonzalez will be joined in Memphis by her husband, Randy. Their son, Clay, is set for a spring 2015 graduation from the University of Michigan.