Jimmy G. Cheek is Chancellor Emeritus and Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Within a year of taking office as Chancellor, he accepted the Governor’s challenge for UT to become a Top 25 public-research university in the United States. This aggressive initiative helped improve campus infrastructure, increase enrollment, retention and graduation rates, secure additional financial resources which included approval by the Board of Trustees of differential tuition for 4 colleges and the 15-4 tuition model, and has aided in recruitment and retention of world-class faculty and staff. Cheek earned his bachelor’s degree with high honors and his doctorate from Texas A&M University. He received his master’s degree from Lamar University.
Cheek has authored more than 80 journal articles and reports. His research focuses on the influence of experiential learning on student achievement and educational accountability. Prior to his service with UT, Cheek was a member of the faculty and an administrator at the University of Florida for thirty-four years, last serving as senior vice president of agricultural and natural resources.