ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland is one of four finalists in the University of Tennessee’s search for a new chancellor. Noland is scheduled to spend Wednesday participating in a public forum session on campus in Knoxville.
When the University of Tennessee released the names of the four finalists – which also include Donde Blowman, William Tate and Bill Hardgrave – Noland released a statement to address his interest in the post.
“Earlier today the University of Tennessee, Knoxville conveyed that I have accepted the nomination for consideration as its next chancellor. I want to thank the ETSU community for your patience and support as my family explores this opportunity. I assure everyone that my focus remains on having an outstanding close to the spring semester, and I look forward to celebrating the accomplishments of our graduates at Commencement,” Noland said.
Noland became the ninth president of ETSU in January of 2012 after serving for six years as the Chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education System. Noland has presided over several high-profile construction projects during his time at the school as a new football stadium and a fine arts center have been constructed under his watch. The D.P. Culp University Center is also undergoing a complete overhaul.
While he received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from West Virginia University, Noland received his doctorate in political science from the University of Tennessee.
Of the four finalists, Noland is the only one who has served as the president of a university. Plowman is currently an executive vice-chancellor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and previously worked as a faculty member at the University of Tennessee.
Tate currently serves as the dean of the graduate school at Washington University in St. Louis while Hardgrave just completed his first year as a provost and vice-president for academic affairs at Auburn University.
As Noland explores the position and the leadership at the University of Tennessee work toward a decision, it is clear that ETSU’s Board of Trustees is pleased with the job he has done and supportive of his desire to pursue the opportunity in Knoxville.
“Brian Noland has been an energetic, visionary leader for East Tennessee State University. It comes as no surprise to the Board of Trustees of ETSU that other major institutions would like to seek his expertise,” Board Chairman Scott Niswonger said in a statement last week. “Dr. Noland has the full support of the Board of Trustees at ETSU, and while we would prefer he remain at ETSU as its ninth president, we also understand what a great opportunity this is for him. As such, we stand behind him in his decision to pursue this great opportunity. No plans have been made at this point, other than to wait and see what decision is made by the University of Tennessee.”