UT Knoxville’s new boss makes first visit to campus, following job offer

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COVER PHOTO_Donde Plowman new UT Chancellor_WATE_0506_1557175279735.JPG.jpg

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The University of Tennessee Knoxville’s new boss stopped by campus Monday.

The UT Board of Trustees voted unanimously Friday to approve President Randy Boyd’s appointment, naming Plowman UTK’s ninth chancellor. 

Plowman, set to take the helm July 1, is no stranger to campus. She previously worked as a department leader in management, in the Haslam College of Business. 

She credited her time at the University, nearly a decade ago, to her success in higher education.

“It was here that I learned how to create innovative programs that attracted students and met the needs of the state as well. For example, the supply chain management program, which is consistently ranked fifth in the country, it’s a great example and there are many others as well,” she said.

She also credited UT as the place she learned how to become a leader in the academic world. She said it was on the campus she saw the importance of community involvement in the university.

She leaves a post as Executive Vice Chancellor at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. 
Other than filling a few leadership roles, Plowman said her first priorities are to listen and learn. Through gathering concerns of students and staff, she plans to then have a vision for the future of the university. 

The incoming chancellor pledged at a press event to be open and transparent and a partner to the community.

“What’s happened in the past is really in the past. I’m looking forward to the future. My own style of leadership is to be transparent and communicate with people as best I can. That’s what I want to get started on here in this new role.”

She also told us she is committed to diversity and working with the diversity and inclusion office here on campus. 

Plowman doesn’t start the job officially until July 1, but she seemed up-to-speed with a lot going on at the university, including recent records on graduation and retention, the number of Fulbright scholars, university funding going to research, fundraising coming into the university and the recent initiative UT promise.  

Before wrapping up the press event, she offered a little more about herself: “I’m a daughter of a Methodist minister. I wish he was here. He’d be so excited. I grew up in Oklahoma in a number of different small communities. That experience is with me always,” she added. 

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