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Jimmy G. Cheek, is the current chancellor of the University of Tennessee, as of February 1, 2009. His experience includes 34 years at the University of Florida, where he was a member of the faculty and an administrator, last serving as senior vice president of agricultural and natural resources. Cheek earned his bachelor's degree and his doctorate from Texas A&M University, and received his master's degree from Lamar University. Cheek is a native of Texas, and he is married to his wife Ileen Cheek and has two children and two grandchildren.
During his tenure at Florida, he received the President's Medallion and Student Body Resolution 2009-104 for his service to the university and its students. He also received the Morton Wolfson Faculty Award for outstanding contributions to the quality of student life. In 1998 he was honored with the Fellow of the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture award, a Fellow of the American Association for Agricultural Education in 2005, and was named to the Academy of Teaching Excellence in 2008. His primary focus for his research has mainly consisted of the influence of experiential learning on student achievement and educational accountability. He has authored more than 80 journal articles and reports and is the senior author of his own book.
Cheek's primary goals upon taking the position as chancellor of UT have been improving the academic experience of students and advancing faculty research and scholarship. His ultimate goal is to help Tennessee become one of the top 25 research universities in the United States. He has already helped guide UT to a top 50 ranking.
At the University of Tennessee, Cheek has pursued the following goals to help UT achieve a top 25 ranking among all public universities:
- Retain and graduate a diverse body of well-educated undergraduate students
- Increase the number and diversity of graduate students
- Strengthen capacity and productivity in research, scholarship, & creative activity
- Attract and retain stellar faculty and staff
- Continually improve the resource base
- "Office of the Chancellor | Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek". Chancellor.utk.edu. 2009-02-01. Retrieved 2011-10-08.
- "University of Tennessee :: 2010 Chancellor's Report". Chancellor.utk.edu. Retrieved 2011-10-08.