Inaugural Class of Tennessee Innovation and Leadership Fellows Selected

Monday, September 09, 2019 | 09:42am

Contact:   Jessica Powers
Press Release

NASHVILLE, Tenn. Sept. 9, 2019 – The Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) announced today that it has selected 15 individuals in its inaugural cohort of the Tennessee Higher Education Leadership and Innovation Fellows program. This cohort-based professional development program is designed to develop the next generation of enterprise leaders in higher education.

Beginning in October, fellows will convene on campuses across the state to learn from experts and build extended networks. The program will facilitate individual development goals through professional assessments, one-on-one executive coaching, and mentoring networks and job shadowing experiences.

Throughout the program, fellows will broaden their understanding of institutional practices and the higher education landscape in order to prepare them for greater responsibility at the enterprise level.

Specifically, objectives of the program include:

  • Facilitate leadership development through self-exploration and skill training;
  • Provide foundational principles of higher education policy and practice for exposure to all aspects of the higher education enterprise;
  • Inspire ideas and cultivate new ways of thinking to shape the emerging paradigm of post-secondary education institutions; and
  • Cultivate statewide networks to facilitate collaboration, inspire and propagate innovative practices.

“Addressing the challenges currently facing higher education will require leaders that are steeped in innovation and keenly focused on student success. This program will help Tennessee develop a cohort of higher education professionals ready to excel in executive positions,” said THEC Executive Director Mike Krause.

2019-2020 Fellows

  •  Dr. Richard Bloomer, Dean, School of Health Studies, University of Memphis
  •  Dr. Lori Bruce, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Tennessee Technological University
  •  Dr. David Butler, Vice Provost for Research, Dean, College of Graduate Studies, Middle Tennessee State University
  •  Ms. Kelli Chaney, President, TCAT Knoxville
  •  Ms. Susanne Cox, Vice President, TCAT Morristown
  •  Mr. Bo Drake, Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development, Chattanooga State Community College
  •  Dr. Steven Gentile, Chief Fiscal Policy Officer, THEC
  •  Dr. Michael Hoff, Chief Planning Officer, East Tennessee State University
  •  Ms. Theresa Liedtka, Dean, UTC Library, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga
  •  Ms. Connie Marshall, Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs, Northeast State Community College
  •  Mr. David L. Miller, Chief Financial Officer, University of Tennessee 
  • Ms. Laura Monks, President, TCAT Shelbyville
  •  Ms. Linda Spears, Chief Human Resources Officer, Tennessee State University
  •  Dr. Jacqueline Taylor, Associate Vice President, Retention and Student Success, Southwest Tennessee Community College
  •  Ms. Dannelle Whiteside, Vice President for Legal Affairs, Austin Peay State University


About the Tennessee Higher Education Commission

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission was created in 1967 by the Tennessee General Assembly. The Commission develops, implements, and evaluates postsecondary education policies and programs in Tennessee while coordinating the state’s systems of higher education, and is relentlessly focused on increasing the number of Tennesseans with a postsecondary credential.