5 Quick Things graphic
July 2, 2021

1. UT System Launches Search for UTHSC Chancellor

The University of Tennessee System has launched the search for the next chancellor of the UT Health Science Center (UTHSC).

Current UTHSC Chancellor Steve Schwab announced his retirement on June 1. He plans to serve until June 30, 2022, or until a successor is on board.

“The University of Tennessee Health Science Center is well positioned for the future,” said UT President Randy Boyd. “I am excited to find a generational leader who can build on this momentum as we look to increase our talent development for the state of Tennessee and grow our research endeavors.”

The UT Board of Trustees approved the search process, timeline and search committee for the position on June 25. Boyd met with the committee today to discuss the desired skills, qualifications and experience for the position.

The UTHSC chancellor serves as a member of the UT System leadership team, reporting directly to the University president, and as chief academic and administrative officer of the Health Science Center campus. The successful candidate will possess a demonstrated commitment to UTHSC’s mission to improve the health and well-being of Tennesseans and the global community by fostering integrated, collaborative and inclusive education, research, scientific discovery, clinical care and public service. The candidate will have the experience and a clear vision to grow extramural federal, state, philanthropic and industry support for research and academic programs and will have experience working with clinical partners to build collaborative and high-quality clinical practice and training programs as well as the ability to advance interprofessional practice, educational and research programs.

The search committee is chaired by Bill Rhodes, member of the UT Board of Trustees. The committee includes members of faculty, staff, student and alumni communities:

  • Marie Chisholm-Burns, UTHSC dean of the College of Pharmacy
  • Jacquelyne Cotton, UTHSC executive administrative aide in the Office of Finance
  • Samuel Dagogo-Jack, UTHSC professor of medicine, director of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism, A.C. Mullins Chair in Translational Research
  • Sonali Demla, UTHSC Student Government Association president and dentistry student
  • Joseph Landsman, president and chief executive officer of the University of Tennessee Medical Center
  • Wendy Likes, UTHSC dean of the College of Nursing
  • Stacey Patterson, UT System vice president for research, outreach and economic development
  • Donde Plowman, UT Knoxville chancellor
  • Cynthia Russell, UTHSC interim vice chancellor of academic, faculty and student affairs
  • Phil Wenk, president and chief executive officer of Delta Dental of Tennessee, chair of the UTHSC Advisory Board and chair of the UT Foundation Board of Directors
  • Cord Williams, UTHSC information technology analyst

A search website has been established that provides a job description, timeline and outlines the qualities and characteristics for the next leader of UTHSC. UT will use the search firm WittKieffer in partnership with its own executive recruitment team to identify candidates for the position. WittKieffer has more than 50 years of experience in placing high-level executives in the fields of higher education, health care, non-profits and others.

WittKieffer partners will conduct stakeholder listening sessions in mid-July to solicit input from various stakeholders.

Once a finalist is selected, UT will make a broad announcement and post his or her resume to the search website.

Interested individuals should apply using the search website.

2. Office of Equity and Diversity is Now the Office of Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity

Michael Alston, EdD, CCDP/AP, assistant vice chancellor for Equity and Diversity, Title IX coordinator, and chief diversity officer at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, has been named to the new position of associate vice chancellor for Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity at UTHSC. The appointment became effective June 30.

Additionally, the Office of Equity and Diversity has become the Office of Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity (OIED).

“This realignment emphasizes the importance of inclusion and diversity at UTHSC,” said Chancellor Steve Schwab, MD. Dr. Alston will report directly to the chancellor. He will also have a reporting relationship to the executive vice chancellor in matters involving policy and staff, and the vice chancellor for Academic, Faculty, and Student Affairs in matters involving students and faculty, Chancellor Schwab said. 

“Our name change acknowledges that UTHSC values a culture that is inclusive, where everyone feels they belong,” Dr. Alston said. “Moreover, the order of the wording has meaning as to how equity, regarding practices and opportunity, is configured, as well as to the importance of diversity, or who is at the table, through recruitment and retention. The experiences of students, trainees, staff, and faculty will remain a focus of OIED with elevation through the Office of the Chancellor.”

Read more about Dr. Alston's promotion on the UTHSC News website.

3. New UTHSC TechConnect Website Launches July 26

We’ve talked about it for weeks now – the new IT service website where you can report a problem, explore and request new services, and find answers to your technical questions, UTHSC TechConnect, is launching on Monday, July 26! This single point of contact for all technology on the UTHSC campus will be available 24/7.

Visit our UTHSC TechConnect introduction page to see the logo, meet our friend Veronica, and learn more.
Thanks for taking the time to help us give the UTHSC TechConnect site a name that is meaningful to you.

4. Blackboard Ultra Upgrade Project

After months of planning, TLC and ITS have started upgrading Blackboard to its newest version, Blackboard Ultra. Blackboard Ultra will allow for improved user experience and navigation features.

For now, the only difference you will notice is the main navigation page. No Blackboard courses will change as a result of the upgrade until Spring 2022.

For more information about the switch to Blackboard Ultra, visit the Blackboard Ultra Upgrade Project website.

5. UTHSC Will Be Closed Monday, July 5

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