In a special called meeting Friday morning, the University of Tennessee unanimously approved appointing Donde Plowman as the ninth chancellor of UT Knoxville.
In addition to approving her hire, trustees also approved her compensation package and tenure in a faculty appointment in the department of management. Plowman’s first day at UT Knoxville will be July 1.
UT Board of Trustees Chair John Compton said when looking at candidates he considered the three Cs. “Does she have competency? Does she have character? Does she know the culture?,” he said. “In all three of those she got an A plus. Her character and values of servant leadership will serve us well.”
Plowman currently serves as the executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She was identified as the top candidate to fill the vacant chancellor position after a national search.
Reporting to the president, the chancellor is responsible for the administration and management of the campus and aggressively promotes continued development of its academic programs, research productivity and national reputation of excellence, built upon a commitment to access, diversity and student success.
UT Interim President Randy Boyd said the decision to hire Plowman was a great day for the University of Tennessee and the state of Tennessee.
“At the end of the process it was clear to me among all the candidates that Dr. Donde Plowman stood out,” he said.
Plowman served previously on the UT Knoxville Haslam College of Business faculty and led the management department.
As executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Plowman operates as the number two administrative position for the campus and oversees academic affairs, student affairs, the Office of Research Economic Development and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Prior to being named executive vice chancellor, she served for more than six years as the James Jr. and Susan Stuart Dean of the College of Business Administration at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Under Plowman’s leadership, the college increased enrollment by 35 percent in six years, added 70 new faculty, created several new academic programs, including the College of Business Honors Academy, the Clifton Strengths Institute and many student services. She led a major fundraising effort that resulted in nearly $150 million, including $84 million for a new building that opened in August 2017. In that time period the college moved up in the US News & World Report rankings of undergraduate business programs from No. 72 to No. 45.
Prior to coming to Nebraska, Plowman was on the management faculty at UT Knoxville from 2007 to 2010, serving as department head of the department of management for two years. She began her academic career at the University of Texas at San Antonio as an assistant professor of management and advanced to the position of professor and associate dean for graduate studies and research, where she was responsible for the creation of the doctorate degree in business.
Plowman received her undergraduate degree with a major in English from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. She holds a master’s in higher education administration from the University of North Texas. She received her doctorate in strategic management from the University of Texas at Austin.
In 2015, Plowman received the “Inspire Woman of the Year Award,” given by the Lincoln Journal Star. She has twice been named one of the 30 Most Influential Women in Lincoln and in 2016 received the Noddle Distinguished Development Service Award from the Nebraska University Board of Trustees in recognition of her fundraising efforts as dean of the College of Business.