Skip to main content
Ayres Hall

Donde Plowman was appointed the ninth chancellor of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, at a confirmation hearing earlier today by UT’s Board of Trustees. She will return to UT and assume leadership of the state’s flagship university July 1.

Plowman currently serves as executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. In that role, she oversees academic affairs, student affairs, the Office of Research Economic Development, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Following her confirmation, Plowman sent the following message to students, faculty, staff, and alumni:

Donde PlowmanI am honored and excited to return to the University of Tennessee and to serve as your next chancellor. There has never been a better time to be a Volunteer, and I am ready to hit the ground running.

I look forward to visiting campus Monday and throughout the summer leading to my official start date of July 1. I would like to thank the search committee, President Randy Boyd, and the UT Board of Trustees for putting their trust in me to lead this amazing university.

For me, being a Volunteer means committing to excellence—for our students, faculty, staff, and alumni and for the people of Tennessee and beyond. It means thinking big and making a difference on our campus and in our communities.

As we work together to make that difference and lead UT into the future, I commit to three Ts:

  • Talking. I don’t always have all the answers, but I am committed to talking with you, listening to you, and seeking your input in the decision-making process.
  • Tracking. We will use data to inform our decisions.
  • Transparency. I will share information regularly so everyone can understand where we’re headed and how we plan to get there.

I wish everyone all the best in the final days of the semester, and I look forward to joining you on Rocky Top.

Interim Chancellor Wayne T. Davis said he’s thrilled to have someone of Plowman’s caliber lead UT.

“Dr. Plowman is known as being a leader of leaders, who can create a shared vision and work collaboratively to execute it to support and elevate the success of students, faculty, and staff,” he said. “Serving the University of Tennessee as interim chancellor has been a tremendous honor for me. I look forward to supporting our new chancellor in her transition back to Rocky Top.”

Davis will remain interim chancellor through June 30.

Media coverage: News Sentinel: Donde Plowman Approved As UT-Knoxville Chancellor ;WBIR: UT Board of Trustees Approves Donde Plowman as Next UTK Chancellor; WATE: Donde Plowman Appointed as UT-Knoxville Chancellor; WVLT: Donde Plowman Chancellor Appointment Approved by Board of Trustees; Daily Beacon: Donde Plowman Approved by the Board of Trustees, to Start July 1; The Daily Times: UT Names New Chancellor; WATE: UT Knoxville’s New Boss Makes First Visit to Campus, Following Job OfferWATE (video): UT’s New Chancellor Donde Plowman Speaks; News Sentinel: New UT-Knoxville Chancellor Donde Plowman A ‘Big Athletics Fan’; News Sentinel: UT-Knoxville Chancellor Talks Plans: ‘I’m Thrilled to Return to the University of Tennessee’WBIR (video): Donde Plowman Introduced as New UT Chancellor; Daily Beacon: ‘I’m Excited to Get Back to Rocky Top’: Donde Plowman Shares Her Plans as Ninth UT Chancellor; News Sentinel, Monica Kast, May 24 (also appeared in Commercial Appeal and The Tennessean)


Tyra Haag (865-974-5460,