Donde Plowman becomes UT chancellor

Exactly one year after the University of Tennessee announced Wayne Davis as their interim chancellor, the UT Board of Trustees announced Donde Plowman as the ninth chancellor.

On May 3, the Board of Trustees at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville confirmed Donde Plowman as the second female chancellor in university history.

Plowman is not a stranger to Rocky Top. She worked from 2007 to 2010 as a management professor at the Haslam College of Business. Later on, she became the management department head.

The Wall Street Journal featured some of Plowman’s research. Her paper, “Radical Change Accidentally: The Emergence and Amplification of Small Change” won the Academy of Mangement Journal Best Paper award in 2008.

Plowman previously served as the executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She reported directly to the chancellor and was the responsible authority in the absence of the chancellor.

“I’ve spent my entire career in public higher education,” Plowman said in an interview, “I love that commitment to education for everyone because education levels the playing field for people in life.”

Plowman announced her plans for making sure that the UT system continues to help Tennesseans throughout the state.

“UT’s extension services and outreach programs offered by the Institute of Agriculture support farmers, families, and Tennessee’s economy by helping secure the future of our state’s agriculture industry and improving the quality of life in all 95 counties,” Plowman said.

“We work every day to fulfill the promise we made more than two centuries ago to deliver our best to the people of Tennessee.”

Plowman’s statement on May 3 discussed committing to three “Ts.” This included: talking, tracking and transparency.

“I don’t always have all the answers, but I am committed to talking with you … We will use data to inform our decisions,” Plowman said. “I will share information regularly so everyone can understand where we’re headed and how we plan to get there.”

Randy Boyd, the interim president, began the search for the ninth chancellor in January.

“Her student-first approach, her reputation as a dynamic leader and collaborator and her great love for the UT Knoxville will be great assets as we work together to advance the university and the state of Tennessee for many years to come,” Boyd said.

“I am proud to be a Tennessee Volunteer,” Plowman said.

On the first day of classes, Plowman announced that she was excited to work alongside Vols to build a shared vision and write the next chapter in UT’s history.

Edited by Ciera Noe and Ainsley Kelso

Featured image courtesy of Donde Plowman’s Twitter page