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KNOXVILLE — Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Denise Barlow will retire on Jan. 31 after more than 30 years at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Denise Barlow
Denise Barlow
Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Jeff Maples will step into the position on an interim basis.

“Denise has been a critical part of campus administration. She has brought not only great expertise, but also — because of her lengthy tenure — invaluable institutional knowledge,” Interim Chancellor Jan Simek said. “We wish her great happiness and success as she moves on to new ventures, but we’ll miss her greatly at UT Knoxville.”

Barlow began working full time in the Bursar’s Office as a fee control clerk in 1978 while going to school. She received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from UT Knoxville in 1985 and became a Certified Public Accountant in 1987. In 1989, she became bursar, and in 1993, after receiving her MBA from UT Knoxville, she became the director of finance.

Barlow assumed the role of Vice Chancellor in January 2004. The Finance & Administration division has fiduciary and leadership responsibility for three primary areas: fiscal, operations and auxiliaries. Areas reporting to the vice chancellor include budget and finance, facilities services, space and facilities management, parking services, bursar’s office, sponsored-projects accounting, dining services, Thompson-Boling Arena, Vol Card office, UT police and the bookstore.

“I’m grateful to the University of Tennessee for all of the opportunities I’ve had in the past 30-plus years,” Barlow said. “There have been many people who encouraged and supported me. I was greatly influenced by President Andy Holt who said he prayed every day for the opportunity to help at least one person that day. With role models such as President Holt, my UT career has been very enriching, both professionally and personally.

“I care deeply about the people and the mission of UT and will miss everyone. Although there have been many rewarding aspects of working here, engaging with the students ranks No. 1. It has been fulfilling to watch them progress in their careers, and it always has been an honor when they’ve asked me to serve as a reference for them.

“I’m excited about the increasing quality of the Knoxville campus, and I regret that I won’t have the opportunity to work with Chancellor Cheek.”

In February, Barlow will begin working in a finance position with a company in Naples, Fla. From January 2010 to April 2010 she will take a leave of absence from her new job to participate in the spring 2010 Semester at Sea voyage, sponsored by the University of Virginia.

Barlow said she and her husband, Jeff Barlow, will be active in the Naples, Fla., chapter of the UT Alumni Association.

Maples has been with UT for 20 years. He started as an assistant to the vice chancellor for administration and student affairs, and his role with the institution has evolved over the years.

While taking over more of the business operations in the interim role, he will also continue his current job, overseeing university operations, which encompasses facilities, UT police, space and facilities management, and auxiliary units, including dining, the bookstore, Thompson-Boling Arena and parking.

A search for Barlow’s permanent replacement is expected to commence soon.


Amy Blakely, (865) 974-5034,