Robert Chance

Mr. Robert C. Chance

Director of Payroll
UT System Administration

Rob Chance is the director of payroll for the UT System. He is responsible for payroll processing and tax reporting for more than 32,000 regular, temporary and student employees and also oversees group health insurance plans for 12,600 benefit-eligible employees.

Chance has more than 25 years of experience in higher education financial and benefits administration. During this time, he implemented online pay statements and online W-2s to provide better access to information for employees and to provide efficiency for the University, consolidated multiple campus/departmental installations of the Kronos timekeeping system into a centrally run system, and enhanced the University’s HR/Payroll system to comply with the rules and regulations of the Affordable Care Act. He also serves as the higher education representative on the state of Tennessee Insurance Committee, which provides insurance plan oversight for all state and higher education employees and their dependents.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1989 and a master’s degree in accounting in 1991, both from UT Knoxville.

He is looking forward to exploring new ideas and techniques that can be used in a finance leadership role at the University.


Frank Cuevas

Dr. Frank Cuevas

Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Life and Adjunct Assistant Professor
UT Knoxville

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Frank Cuevas serves as associate vice chancellor for student life at UT Knoxville. He also serves as adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. He joined UT Knoxville as executive director of University Housing and was later promoted to assistant vice chancellor for Student Life and executive director of University Housing. In July 2017, he assumed his current role of associate vice chancellor.

He assists with leadership, supervision and management for the Division of Student Life, directly overseeing University Housing, the Student Union, New Student and Family Programs, Strategic Planning & Assessment, the Center for Career Development, RecSports and the Office of Communications and Marketing. Cuevas’ accomplishments include providing oversight for construction of the new student union ($184 million) and the west campus housing project ($236 million). He also has extensive experience at other large public research universities, including The Ohio State University and Florida State University.

Cuevas looks forward to increasing his knowledge of higher education leadership and management through the UT Executive Leadership Institute.


Charley Deal

Dr. Charley Deal

Special Advisor to the Chancellor; Interim Director of the Office of Research, Grants and Contracts; and
Executive Director of WestStar Leadership
UT Martin

Charley Deal serves as the special advisor to the chancellor, interim director of research and sponsored programs, and executive director of the WestStar Leadership program. He is a graduate of UT Martin (’92, ’96) and received his doctorate in learning and leadership from UT Chattanooga in 2017. Deal has been employed at UT Martin since 1992, working in Residence Life, Development, Athletics and Alumni Relations. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the UT Federal Credit Union, Weakley County Emergency Food and Shelter, United Way of West Tennessee, Weakley County United Way and WRAP of West Tennessee.

While in alumni relations, Deal ushered in a new era in traditions with the creation of Quad City during homecoming, Grand Finale and Senior Walk, and electronic communications to alumni. Under his leadership, the University’s annual giving program grew by more than 400 percent in five years.

By participating in the UT Executive Leadership Institute, Deal hopes to gain greater confidence in his leadership abilities and develop a statewide network of professionals to share ideas and seek input on issues of concern.


Lannett Edwards

Dr. Lannett Edwards

Professor and Graduate Director
UT Institute of Agriculture

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Lannett Edwards, a UT Institute of Agriculture animal science professor and graduate director, earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Austin Peay State University, a master’s degree in dairy science from Mississippi State University and a doctorate in animal science from the University of Florida. She was a USDA-ARS postdoc in Beltsville, Maryland, before joining UTIA in 1998.

The major impetus for her taking on different leadership roles within the Institute was the phrase, “To change the system, you need to be part of the system.” Although frustration fueled initial efforts, a lifelong passion for agriculture (education, outreach and research) and gratitude for the efforts of others are now the major drivers for this first-generation college graduate. Edwards especially enjoys mentoring others and being engaged in facilitating change.

She believes the additional knowledge and skills to be gained by completing the UT Executive Leadership Institute will undoubtedly provide invaluable training and an important “test” of core competencies to thrive in an executive level position.


Macel Ely

Dr. Macel Ely

Director of the Naifeh Center for Effective Leadership
UT Institute for Public Service

Macel Ely serves as director of the Naifeh Center for Effective Leadership (NCEL) at the UT Institute for Public Service. The purpose of NCEL is to provide training and professional growth to leaders at all levels, from the emerging supervisor to the experienced senior executive. Programs of the center include a wide variety of training for Tennessee government executives, local government officials and state legislators.

Macel earned bachelors’ degrees in political science from Lee University and Kentucky Wesleyan College. He also earned a master’s degree in public administration and a doctorate in educational leadership from UT Knoxville. In 2011, Macel authored a book entitled Ain’t No Grave, which has been featured in media outlets such as CNN Headline News, National Public Radio and the British Broadcasting Corporation. The Association of Recorded Sound Collections nominated his literary work for best historical research.

Macel is looking forward to participating in the UT Executive Leadership Institute in order to network and learn from others who share his passion for strengthening the UT System.


Forrest Tyler

Tyler Forrest

Associate Vice Chancellor for Budget and Finance
UT Chattanooga

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Tyler Forrest currently serves as the associate vice chancellor for budget and finance at UT Chattanooga. He began his career with the University in 2010 as a financial analyst and since has served in a number of financial management roles. His current areas of responsibility include budget and financial management, the procurement of goods and services, contractual agreements, asset management and auxiliary enterprises, which include parking services, food services, the bookstore, graphic and mail services, and the student ID card office.

Forrest’s major accomplishments include the implementation of a University-wide budget planning process, which has led to strategic tuition and fee model changes such as gaining approval for a 15/4 tuition model and multiple market adjustments to regional and out-of-state tuition rates. Other accomplishments include transformational changes to the campus parking system, as well as substantial capital investments in the food service operations.

Forrest is excited about participating in the UT Executive Leadership Institute and looks forward to sharpening his own leadership skills to serve UT for many years to come.


Petra McPhearson

Ms. Petra McPhearson

Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration
UT Martin

Petra Rencher McPhearson’s UT career spans more than 19 years. She currently serves as the vice chancellor for finance and administration a UT Martin. In that role, she is responsible for the business, safety and physical plant operations of the campus. Originally from Clarksdale, Mississippi, McPhearson first worked in the Bursar’s Office at the UT Health Science Center, and then served in various roles in finance and administration at both the UT Health Science Center and UT Martin campuses. She was instrumental in creating the position control model at UTHSC and the “Soar in Four” tuition model at UTM, respectively. A portion of her accounting career was dedicated to Bethel College, now Bethel University, where she served as the principal financial officer.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Alcorn State University and a master’s degree from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

McPhearson anticipates being a stronger, more insightful trailblazer in higher education as a result of participating in the UT Executive Leadership Institute.


Jean Mercer

Ms. Jean Mercer

Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research and Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs
UT Knoxville

Jean Mercer is the assistant vice chancellor for research and director of the Office of Sponsored Programs at UT Knoxville. She is responsible for overseeing the review and submission processes of proposal applications to external sponsors to support the research, scholarship and creative activities of faculty, staff and students. Her responsibilities also include oversight of the review and negotiation of agreements for funded proposal applications.

Mercer recently oversaw development and implementation of an electronic system to track contract negotiations resulting in streamlined office operations. Other accomplishments include participating in the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) pilot program to streamline subrecipient review processes across all FDP schools.

She looks forward to the opportunity for learning more about the University and further developing and refining her leadership skills through her participation in the UT Executive Leadership Institute.


Angela Nystrom

Angelia M. Nystrom, JD, LLM

Director of Specialty Programs (UTIA)
UT Foundation, Inc

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Angelia Nystrom is executive director of specialty programs for the UT Institute of Agriculture. She is responsible for UTIA’s planned giving program and for real estate acquisition and development. As a member of the institutional advancement team, she has been instrumental in securing multiple eight-figure gifts for UTIA. Additionally, she has re-vamped UTIA’s planned giving website and marketing materials.

Prior to joining UTIA, Nystrom was director of planned giving for the UT System, following 18 years in the private practice of law. Nystrom’s experience includes estate and charitable gift planning, estate and trust administration, real property transactions and tax litigation. She is a frequent lecturer on estate planning, probate and elder care issues. She earned a jurisprudence degree from Mercer University and was a visiting scholar in the UT Knoxville College of Law. She holds an LLM in estate planning and elder law from Western New England University, where she finished top of her class.

She hopes to learn more about the units within UT and further develop her skills to become a more effective leader within the University system.


Daniel Pack

Dr. Daniel J. Pack, P.E.

Dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science
UT Chattanooga

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Daniel Pack is the dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science at UT Chattanooga. Before joining UTC, he was the Mary Clarke Endowed Chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Texas, San Antonio, and professor of electrical and computer engineering at the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he served as director of the Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research.

He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Arizona State University, Harvard University and Purdue University, and was a visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology-Lincoln Laboratory. Pack co-authored seven textbooks and published more than 160 book chapters and technical papers on systems, control, robotics, pattern recognition and engineering education. He is the recipient of the Carnegie Professor of the Year Award, Frank J. Seiler Research Excellence Award, Tau Beta Pi Outstanding Professor Award, Academy Educator Award and Magoon Award. He is a registered professional engineer in Colorado and currently serves as editor-at-large and associate editor for two international journals.

Through the UT Executive Leadership Institute, he expects to grow as an academic leader.


Stacey Patterson

Dr. Stacey S. Patterson

Vice President for Research, Outreach and Economic Development and President and CEO of the
UT Research Foundation
UT System Administration

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Stacey Patterson serves as vice president for research, outreach and economic development at the UT System and also as president of the UT Research Foundation (UTRF). Patterson joined UT in 2006 in a joint role in licensing and research. At UTRF, she was responsible for managing a broad portfolio of intellectual property for licensing and commercialization. Her research led to significant external funding and a startup company developing biological cell lines for optical imaging applications.

In 2009, Patterson joined the executive vice president’s office. She served as lead author on a $24-million NSF grant to grow research infrastructure in Tennessee. Among several statewide initiatives, Patterson led the $62.5 million Solar Initiative. In 2015, she was promoted to the dual roles of UT associate vice president and vice president of UTRF.

Patterson earned a bachelor’s degree and doctorate in microbiology from UT and a master’s degree from East Tennessee State University. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of South Florida. She has secured funding from NOAA, U.S. Army, NSF and NIH, and has been a contributor on several U.S. patents in sensor development and cancer imaging.

Through her participation in the UT Executive Leadership Institute, Patterson hopes to build additional self-awareness and identify ways to use this knowledge to better serve the University.


Joanne Romagni

Dr. Joanne Romagni

Vice Chancellor for Research and Dean of the Graduate School
UT Chattanooga

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Joanne Romagni is the vice chancellor for research and dean of the Graduate School at UT Chattanooga. She is responsible for support and facilitation of all scholarship and research activities on the campus as well as all functions of the Graduate School. She oversees the Office of Sponsored Programs, the Office of Research Integrity, all research centers and core facilities, the Undergraduate Research Office and the Graduate School. In the past three years, UTC has increased graduate enrollment by more than 30 percent and research expenditures by 38 percent. As UTC’s first vice chancellor for research, Romagni helped to reimagine the “SimCenter” Center of Excellence and initiate a new research center, the Center for Urban Informatics and Progress.

Through the UT Executive Leadership Institute, Romagni expects get a much more global view of the academic enterprise, outside of just academic affairs and research, and to better understand the challenges across the different units. She also would like to get a better understanding of a state university system, as most of her career has been spent at private institutions.


Jim Sauceman

Jim Sauceman

Director of IRIS Administrative Support
UT System Administration

Jim Sauceman is the director of the IRIS Administrative Support department, which supports UT’s SAP ERP software and related systems. He leads a team of 32 information technology professionals in support of UT’s financial, travel, human resources, recruiting and payroll systems. During the past few years, he has led an effort to modernize the SAP ERP software, having now completed the first two major phases toward that goal. He earned a master’s degree in business administration and holds the Project Management Institute’s Project Management Professional certification. He is past president of the Tennessee ASUG (Americas’ SAP Users’ Group) and was recognized with an outstanding service award at the SAP national conference three years ago.

He would like to learn practical strategies and techniques for becoming a more effective and well-rounded leader. He recognizes all leaders can have blind spots and areas in need of improvement and would like to identify and improve his.


Matthew Scoggins Portrait

Mr. Matthew Scoggins

General Counsel
UT System Administration

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Matthew Scoggins serves as general counsel for UT System. The general counsel and attorneys working under the general counsel’s supervision are responsible for all legal matters affecting the University, including representation of the University and University officials in legal actions. The office’s attorneys strive to help University officials achieve their goals and solve problems in a practical, timely, legal, ethical and efficient manner.

During his time at UT, Scoggins has been the lead attorney for providing advice and representation in a variety of areas, including student affairs, athletics, legislative affairs, Title IX and the Tennessee Public Records Act.

Prior to joining UT, Scoggins was an associate in the litigation group of Bass, Berry and Sims PLC in Knoxville and an associate in the labor and employment group at Alston and Bird LLP in Atlanta, Georgia. He earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing and a doctor of jurisprudence at UT Knoxville, ranking first in his graduating class from law school.

He hopes that the UT Executive Leadership Institute will help him develop the skills needed to be a more effective leader for the University and improve his management of attorneys and staff in the Office of the General Counsel.


John Clinton Stier

John Clinton Stier

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the Herbert College of Agriculture
UT Institute of Agriculture

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John Stier is the associate dean for the Herbert College of Agriculture. His responsibilities include leading curriculum development and student success programs for undergraduate and graduate students. One of his major accomplishments has been development of the University’s China Scholars Program (CSP), a partnership among UT, the China Scholarship Council, and select Chinese universities. The CSP supports Chinese doctoral students in UT research programs focused on food, water and the environment, with the goal of long-term collaborations as students return to become researchers, academicians and other leaders in China.

Another accomplishment has been a redevelopment of the office staffing positions and types of hires to more effectively advise, retain and graduate students. Under his leadership, the College has changed the undergraduate advising model to allow faculty to focus on research and better student mentorship, and improved retention of underrepresented students at levels exceeding the overall University results.

His expectations from the UT Executive Leadership Institute are to enhance knowledge of self and how best to use his skills to improve situations for others, to improve his ability to effect changes and to better resolve conflicts.


Carey Whitworth

Carey Whitworth

Assistant Vice President for Government Relations and Advocacy
UT System Administration

Carey Whitworth, as assistant vice president for government relations and advocacy, manages a host of state, federal and strategic issues on behalf of the UT System. She works with elected officials to advance University interests and often serves as spokesperson before the Tennessee legislature. Carey provides political counsel to UT leadership and consults on media issues with legislative ramifications. She leads the University’s grassroots legislative advocacy program, working in partnership with the UT Alumni Association. The advocacy program has been recognized nationally under her leadership.

In 2017, she was selected to participate in Harvard’s “Women in Education Leadership” program and was recognized as one of Nashville’s “Emerging Leaders.” Whitworth earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration from the UT Knoxville, where she received the highest student honor, the Torchbearer Award. She is the first woman to serve in a government relations leadership role in UT history.

She believes the UT Executive Leadership Institute will assist in developing new strengths and a plan for long-term growth at the University of Tennessee.


Catherine Womack

Dr. Catherine Womack

Assistant Dean for Student Affairs in the College of Medicine
UT Health Science Center

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Catherine Womack has been the interim chair of preventive medicine at the UT Health Science Center since October 2017. Her department includes the divisions of biostatistics and epidemiology and the Center for Innovation in Health Equity Research. She holds monthly faculty meetings, so that her different divisions have the chance to collaborate and build camaraderie. She is responsible for annual faculty performance and planning for the year. Mentoring is important to her and she encourages the faculty to be involved in ways that help them to be successful in their career path.

As interim chair, she has successfully lobbied the interim executive dean to replace a senior-level biostatistician and epidemiologist to bolster these divisions. She also has worked with the research administration to develop a partnership with the Division of Biostatistics to facilitate the start-up of the STATED core, which will provide statistical support for all campuses.

As a member of the UT Executive Leadership Institute, she wants to be a leader at the University of Tennessee who promotes excellence in its students, faculty and administrators.