A special Board of Trustees meeting Friday morning unanimously approved the appointment of Donde Plowman as the ninth chancellor of UT, effective July 1.
When looking at candidates, Board of Trustees Chair John Compton said he considered the three c's: competency, character and culture.
“In all three of those she got an A plus,” Compton said. “Her character and values of servant leadership will serve us well.”
The proposed compensation package and tenure as a faculty appointment in the department of management were approved as well. The compensation package includes $50,000 per month for an annualized salary of $600,000; a housing allowance of $1,666.67 per month before taxes and a one-time moving allowance of $35,000 before taxes.
The chancellor of UT reports to the president and is responsible for the administration and management of campus, while also promoting continued development in academia, research productivity and the national reputation of the university.
UT Interim President Randy Boyd called the decision a “great day for the University of Tennessee and the state of Tennessee.”
“At the end of the process it was clear to me among all the candidates that Donde Plowman stood out,” Boyd said.
Previously, Plowman held a faculty position at UTK in the Haslam College of Business where she led the management department from 2007 to 2010, serving as department head for two years.
At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Plowman operates as the second administrative position for the campus and oversees academic affairs, student affairs, the Office of Research Economic Development and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
She served for more than six years as the James Jr. and Susan Stuart Dean of the College of Business Administration at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln before becoming executive vice chancellor. During Plowman's time at the university, the college increased enrollment by 35% in six years, added 70 new faculty and created new academic programs, including the College of Business Honors Academy, the Clifton Strengths Institute and other student services.
Plowman was at the forefront of a fundraising campaign that raised nearly $150 million, including $84 million for a new building that opened in August 2017. Also during that time, the college moved rankings from No. 72 to No. 45 in the US News & World Report rankings of undergraduate business programs.
She began at the University of Texas at San Antonio as an assistant professor of management before advancing to the position of professor and associate dean for graduate studies and research, where she was responsible for creating the doctorate degree in business.
Plowman received her undergraduate degree in English from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. She holds a master’s in higher education administration from the University of North Texas and received her doctorate in strategic management from the University of Texas at Austin.
The Lincoln Journal Star gave Plowman the “Inspire Woman of the Year Award,” in 2015. She was named twice as one of the 30 Most Influential Women in Lincoln and in 2016 received the Noddle Distinguished Development Service Award from the Nebraska University Board of Trustees in recognition of her fundraising efforts as dean of the College of Business.
Plowman is married to Dennis Duchon, a professor of management and department chair at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has two sons Kevin Ashmos and Chijioke Onuoha, who reside in Austin, Texas.
The search committee, chaired by Chancellor of UT Martin Keith Carver, launched the search in January and was conducted by a committee of faculty, staff, students and alumni community members. The committee invited four candidates to campus for open forums on April 15 to April 18. For details about the search process visit the search website.
Gabriela Szymanowska contributed to this article.