Dr. Charley Deal and Petra McPhearson

Deal, McPhearson named to inaugural UT Executive Leadership Institute

MARTIN, Tenn. – University of Tennessee at Martin administrators Dr. Charley Deal, special advisor to the chancellor, and Petra McPhearson, vice chancellor for finance and administration, are two of 18 members of the inaugural class in the University of Tennessee Executive Leadership Institute.

Deal became special advisor to the UT Martin chancellor in spring of this year after serving as associate vice chancellor for alumni relations and annual giving since July 2007. He also serves as executive director of the WestStar Leadership Program and interim director of the UT Martin Office of Research, Grants and Contracts.

McPhearson became vice chancellor for finance and administration in April after filling the position in an interim capacity since January 2016. She began working for UT Martin in 2011 and previously served as both interim director and director of budget and management reporting. She held several positions with the UT Health Science Center in Memphis and Bethel University in McKenzie before coming to Martin.

The institute is part of UT President Joe DiPietro’s legacy and was established to prepare internal candidates for future leadership positions and complement current succession-planning efforts within the UT System.

“My overall goal as president of the University of Tennessee has always been to leave this place in better shape than I found it,” said DiPietro. “I believe in the importance of developing leadership skills and understanding leadership’s role in higher education and look forward to teaching part-time in the program during retirement.”

The institute’s first cohort will meet Oct. 2 in Knoxville. Designed and led by Dr. Bob Smith, special advisor for leadership and talent development to the UT president and chancellor emeritus of UT Martin, the institute offers participants special development plans, executive coaching, mentoring and experiential learning. The class will meet six times throughout the year for multi-day leadership sessions. Candidates were nominated by their supervisors and competitively selected by campus and institute leaders.

“We estimate that 40 percent of our administrators will be eligible to retire in the next five years – creating vacancies in as many as 100 positions,” said Smith. “The institute will help ensure the right people with the right skills are ready to advance as opportunities become available.”

The 18 members of the 2018 cohort represent each UT campus and institute and oversee critical functions within the university system.

Other cohort members are:

  • Rob Chance, UT System administration, director of payroll
  • Frank Cuevas, UT Knoxville, associate vice chancellor for student life and adjunct assistant professor
  • Lannett Edwards, UT Institute of Agriculture, professor and graduate director
  • Macel Ely, UT Institute for Public Service, director of the Naifeh Center for Effective Leadership
  • Tyler Forrest, UT Chattanooga, associate vice chancellor for budget and finance
  • Shelley Hawkins, UT Health Science Center, professor and executive associate dean of academic affairs
  • Jean Mercer, UT Knoxville, assistant vice chancellor for research and director of the Office of Sponsored Programs
  • Angelia Nystrom, UT Foundation Inc., director of specialty programs for the UT Institute of Agriculture
  • Daniel Pack, UT Chattanooga, dean of the college of engineering and computer science
  • Stacey Patterson, UT System administration, vice president for research, outreach and economic development and president of the UT Research Foundation
  • Joanne Romagni, UT Chattanooga, vice chancellor for research and dean of the graduate school
  • Jim Sauceman, UT System administration, director of IRIS administrative support
  • Matthew Scoggins, UT System administration, general counsel
  • John Stier, UT Institute of Agriculture, associate dean for the Herbert College of Agriculture
  • Carey Whitworth, UT System administration, assistant vice president for government relations and advocacy
  • Catherine Womack, UT Health Science Center, interim chair of preventative medicine for the College of Medicine

More information about the institute, including attendee biographies, is available at president.tennessee.edu/executive-leadership-institute.



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