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KNOXVILLE — Katie High, University of Tennessee interim vice president for academic affairs and student success, has been named chief of staff to the university president. UT President John Petersen announced High’s appointment on Wednesday.

Katie High
Katie High
“I am pleased to have someone with Dr. High’s extensive depth and breadth of experience at the University of Tennessee able to step into this key role for the university as a member of my senior staff,” Petersen said. “She brings critical insight into both higher education and the University of Tennessee, an insight developed during her more than 20 years with UT. I look forward to working with her in pushing forward the university’s agenda.”

In 2005 High was named associate vice president for academic affairs and student success, a post she held until being appointed interim vice president for that office on Jan. 1, 2008. From 2001 to 2005 she was vice chancellor for student affairs at the University of Tennessee at Martin, where she oversaw admissions, financial aid and all student services.

High received the doctoral degree in higher education administration from the University of Tennessee in 1982, and she has been on university staff in a variety of capacities for more than 25 years. She formerly has served as director of management development, director of licensing, associate senior vice president and chief of staff to the president.

High will succeed Margie Nichols, who leaves the chief of staff position to become vice chancellor of communications and Marketing for the University of Tennessee’s flagship Knoxville campus effective Sept. 1.

“I am excited and honored to be named to this position,” High said. “I am excited about the opportunity to be part of the momentum the University of Tennessee is gaining, and I am honored by President John Petersen’s confidence in me. I’m eager to get to work.”

High is a native of Ohio and a graduate of Miami University, where she received bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She taught public school in Knoxville and Clinton for nine years.

She is the current chair of the Tennessee American College Testing (ACT) Policy Council and has served on the advisory board of First Citizens Bank and the Weakley-Obion County Drug Court. She is past president of the Weakley County Carl Perkins Child Abuse Prevention Center, the Martin Literary Guild, the Martin Rotary Club and the Knoxville Metropolitan Drug Commission.

High is a consultant with schools, government agencies and private businesses throughout the country.

She is married to Reggie High, a retired member of UT educational studies faculty. The Highs live in Knoxville and have two sons and four grandchildren.


Gina Stafford, (865)974-0741,