Sr. Vice Chancellor & Sr. Vice President, UT Institute of Agriculture

Job Details

The University of Tennessee is seeking applications and nominations for the role of Senior Vice Chancellor/Senior Vice President (SVC/SVP) of the Institute of Agriculture (UTIA). The SVC/SVP is the executive leader of UTIA and reports directly to both the UTK Chancellor and to the UT System President. The SVC/SVP oversees and provides leadership to the Herbert College of Agriculture (HCA), College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM), UT Ag Research, and UT Extension, and is the university’s chief spokesperson on agriculture issues. The person in this role serves on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville Cabinet and on the UT System Administrative Council. The SVC/SVP is fully responsible for the administration and management of the Institute’s units, including Extension offices in 95 counties, three regional extension offices, four 4-H Centers, and ten research stations and educational centers.  This position aggressively promotes the continued development of its academic and educational outreach programs, research productivity, and national reputation of excellence, built upon a commitment to access and diversity. This position is appointed in accordance with the bylaws of the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees.  

Duties and Responsibilities:

The Institute of Agriculture is headquartered on the Knoxville campus of the University and has a strong presence in all 95 Tennessee counties.  The primary responsibilities of the position are to promote academic, research and outreach excellence and to provide leadership and administration to the Institute.  The SVC/SVP will develop and execute plans for growing enrollments, developing curriculum that meets the needs workforce needs, elevating the national reputation of the UTIA. The SVC/SVP is responsible for planning, implementing and leading strong, progressive programs of excellence of the Institute delivered through HCA, CVM, UT Extension, and UT Ag Research.   

The SVC/SVP is expected to provide visionary leadership in strategic initiatives that enhance the reputation and impact of the Institute of Agriculture and the university, provide administrative excellence that guides fiscal management and operations of the Institute. This position is responsible for shared governance, and engagement of the University with the wider community.  The SVC/SVP establishes and maintains productive relationships on behalf of the Institute with state government, agricultural industries, veterinary organizations and professionals, forest and natural resources industries and agencies, the Tennessee congressional delegation and federal agencies.  The SVC/SVP champions a culture of engagement and belonging by providing leadership in an environment that actively promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion. The SVC/SVP possesses a deep commitment to these values and demonstrates action and accountability in advancing strategies to support them at all levels of the University.

Specific duties include, but are not limited to:

    Articulate and execute a strategic vision and long-term goals for the Institute. Assume fiscal authority/leadership for the Institute.Promote a culture that is welcoming to all by leading the Institute’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.Expand the academic reach of the institute and develop an innovative academic program portfolio that effectively meets the current and future needs of the state.Provide direction and incentives for research, creative achievement and service. Foster interdisciplinary approaches to undergraduate and graduate education. Create innovative and effective programs across the Institute. Support UT Extension in providing research and evidence-based knowledge about agriculture and natural resources, family and consumer sciences, 4-H youth development and community economic development to meet the needs of Tennesseans. Ensure the veterinary clinical and diagnostic services meet the needs of the state; position the College of Veterinary Medicine as a leader among its peers. Nurture relationships with other University programs and with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Maintain a cooperative and mutually beneficial relationship with other UT campuses in the implementation of agricultural and natural resource-related curricula and programs. Direct the recruitment, development and retention of high-performing faculty, department heads, deans and staff. Lead the Institute’s advancement activities.  Fosters development of international programs and initiatives with faculty and students within the Institute; establish the Institution as a leader among peers in international programs. Chairs the UT Commission on Agriculture.


Prefers an earned terminal degree and evidence of scholarly, professional, or creative achievement sufficient to qualify for tenure as a full professor in one of the units at the institute; demonstrated administrative leadership in higher education or comparable leadership experience. Candidates outside higher education with deep industry experience are also considered.   


Requires an understanding of the University’s mission as a public, research, land grant university; demonstrated knowledge of and a history of commitment to affirmative action, equal employment opportunity and diversity, and intercultural education; ability to represent the University to external audiences, including government, industry, and alumni groups; exceptional communication and development skills and the ability to work collegially with a wide variety of constituencies.  Requires demonstrated deep and contemporary experience leading a complex and comprehensive organization; a personal history of teaching and research commensurate with faculty status at a major research university.  Requires a broad knowledge of agriculture, natural resources, veterinary medicine and outreach activities.  Requires excellent oral, written and other communications skills; computer literacy; ability to multi-task and the ability to travel frequently, sometimes out-of-state.   


The SVC/SVP will have significant knowledge and understanding of higher education.  Specific skills include:

    commitment to quality and integrity. innovative and forward-thinking.demonstrated leadership skills and abilities.proven ability to work across complex organizations and lead diverse teams.demonstrated success in decision-making and leading change.exceptional listening skills.a broad knowledge of agriculture, natural resources, veterinary medicine and outreach activities. demonstrated leadership and abilities in the administration of higher education agricultural, natural resources, and/or veterinary medicine programs, with substantive experience, preferably in a large public and/or land grant institution within a multi-campus environment. ability to mobilize volunteers and stakeholders for the enhancement of the university. demonstrated ability and skills in securing extramural funding. exceptional skills in communications and interpersonal relations. demonstrated ability to forge successful relationships and partnerships. knowledge of and commitment to affirmative action and equal employment opportunity.   ability to establish high expectations, willingness to delegate effectively, and ability to hold direct reports accountable. skilled decision-maker, with transparency in decision-making and management.excellent oral, written and presentation skills; exceptional listening skills. ability to multi-task. ability to travel frequently.  

The SVC/SVP will exhibit qualities of emotional maturity, humility, collegiality, genuineness, self-confidence, common sense, judgment, fairness, creativity, discretion, decisiveness, political acumen, diplomacy, tact, resiliency, adaptability, courage of convictions and tolerance for ambiguity.  Demonstrated behavioral expectations include:

    unquestioned integrity and trustworthiness. strong commitment to excellence, integrity, and transparency. commitment to the University’s mission and strategic vision, as well as missions and strategic plans for each campus/institute. ability to make sound, consistent and fair evidence-informed decisions.ability to lead and work with cross-functional teams and to foster teamwork.

For priority consideration, please forward a CV or resume, letter of interest, or nominations of appropriate candidates before December 6, 2021 to:

Paul H.L. Chou & Rosa Morris

Global Education Practice

Korn Ferry

[email protected]

Job: Executive/Administrative
Primary Location: US-Tennessee-knoxville
Organization: University Administration
Schedule: Full-time
Job Posting: Oct 26, 2021, 11:31:47 AM


Working at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Founded in 1794, the University of Tennessee is one of the nation’s oldest and most storied public universities. Based in Knoxville, Tennessee’s flagship land-grant institution includes the statewide Institute of Agriculture and the Space Institute in Tullahoma. The university embodies excellence in teaching, discovery, scholarship, research, creative activity, outreach, and engagement. Known as the Volunteers, we lead with a spirit of selflessness, empathy, and courage, and strive to be champions for diversity, equity, and inclusion

UT Knoxville is a Research 1 university with 11 academic colleges and more than 900 programs of study. With an enrollment of more than 30,000 students, our academic programs are repeatedly ranked top in their class. The university co-manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the country’s most prominent national lab, driving innovation in advanced manufacturing and materials, national security, and more. We are closely connected with our communities through outreach and extension efforts across Tennessee and through partnerships with non-profits, corporations, and industries—regionally, nationally, and around the globe.

The city of Knoxville is nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. The modern, thriving community is surrounded by gorgeous lakes and hundreds of miles of walking, hiking, and biking trails. Situated along the banks of the Tennessee River, our beautiful features an eclectic music scene, internationally recognized festivals, unique restaurants, and a robust offering of diverse cultural activities. Knoxville is located within a day’s drive of Atlanta, Nashville, Asheville, Charlotte, Louisville, Cincinnati, Memphis, Chicago, and Washington D.C.

Knoxville and the surrounding counties have a population of more than 850,000 people. The region houses many leading corporations and organizations, including Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pilot/Flying J, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and Regal Cinemas, along with HGTV, Food Network, and other networks owned by Discovery Inc.

As a member of the UT family, you will be surrounded by top-notch faculty, staff, and students from around the world. You will be part of a diverse campus community that is passionate about changing the world and cheering for the Vols on game day.

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