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Margie Nichols, vice chancellor for communications and marketing, has announced her plans to retire from UT later this year.

Margie Nichols

Nichols has served the Knoxville campus as vice chancellor for more than seven years, overseeing media and internal relations, creative communications, video and photography, and WUOT-FM, the community’s National Public Radio station.

“Margie has been a critical part of our cabinet and has done a stellar job. She has brought valuable expertise and knowledge to our team,” said Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek. “We’ll miss her greatly at the University of Tennessee, and I will personally miss her counsel on the many issues we have faced over the years. I wish her and her husband, John, great happiness and I hope to see her often.”

Nichols led the campus through a successful branding campaign, an effort that helped to infuse orange into our campus culture and to present UT Knoxville’s brand with unity and consistency behind the Power T logo.

“She has provided the strong leadership needed to enhance the university’s national reputation,” Cheek said. “She has helped to tell the best stories about our university and dramatically improved our communication with students, faculty, and staff.”

Nichols came to UT in 2007 to serve as chief of staff to former UT president John Petersen. She began serving as vice chancellor for the Knoxville campus in 2008. Prior to that she was senior director of communications and government relations for then-Knoxville mayor Bill Haslam. She has twenty-six years of experience in television news including serving as news director at Knoxville’s WBIR-TV. She began her career in television in Memphis and then moved to Nashville, winning national awards for her work as an investigative reporter.

“I have had an amazing career, and it’s been an honor to serve the University of Tennessee and its distinguished faculty, staff, and students,” said Nichols. “I have accomplished the goals I set eight years ago when I came to UT. The time is right for my husband and me to focus on our list of things we want to do together.

“I have been blessed with an extremely talented staff who will continue all of the great work we’ve started. I am humbled by Chancellor Cheek’s kind words and trust; I will miss him and my colleagues greatly,” Nichols said.

A national search is underway to fill the position. Nichols will continue to serve until a successor is named.


Karen Simsen (865–216-6862,