Jimmy Cheek, Director of the Postsecondary Education Research Center, Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, and Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) is being honored by his alma mater. Cheek has been chosen as one of the 2018 Outstanding Alumni for Texas A& M University. Nominated by John Zomchick for his outstanding work at UTK, Cheek will be honored at the Outstanding Alumni Gala to be held on Friday, October 26th at the Thomas G Hildebrand Equine Complex on the Texas A & M campus.
Cheek served as administrator at the University of Florida for thirty-four years, last as senior vice-president of agricultural and natural resources, before joining UTK. Upon taking office as Chancellor for UTK, Cheek was challenged with taking the university to the Top 25. His work during his chancellorship helped improve campus infrastructure, increase enrollment, retention and graduation rates, secure additional resources, and aid in recruitment and retention of world class faculty and staff. “Throughout his tenure, Cheek has worked for the students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders of the University of Tennessee. He has put people first, always, and he has succeeded in transforming our institution physically, economically, socially, and morally. Whether behind the scenes with his staff, the state’s political leaders, or our devoted alumni; or whether from the public bully pulpit, he has done his utmost to make UT better for all. In my opinion, he has been the most effective leader in my 33 years here because he inspired all of us to join him in transforming the lives of others” said John Zomchick, Vice Provost for Faculty Affiairs is his nomination letter.
Cheek now serves as Director of the Postsecondary Education Research Center in the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences. The mission of the center is to identify, conduct and coordinate research on initiatives and ideas designed to enhance higher education at the institutional, state, and national levels to enhance policy and practice.