Nicholas S. Zeppos

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Nicholas S. Zeppos
Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos.jpg
Nick Zeppos in 2008
8th Chancellor of Vanderbilt University
Assumed office
August 1, 2007
Preceded by Gordon Gee
Personal details
Born 1955
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
Spouse(s) Lydia Howarth
Children Benjamin and Nicholas
Alma mater University of Wisconsin–Madison

Nicholas S. Zeppos (born 1955) is an American lawyer and university administrator. He serves as the eighth Chancellor of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Early life[edit]

Nicholas Zeppos was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1955. He received both his B.A. in history in 1976 and his J.D. in 1979 from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.[1][2] In 1978-9, he served as the editor-in-chief of the Wisconsin Law Review.[3][4]


Zeppos started his career as a practicing attorney in Washington, D.C..

Zeppos joined the faculty of the Vanderbilt Law School in 1987.[1] During his tenure at Vanderbilt, he has held a number of posts, including professor of law, associate dean of the law school, associate provost for academic affairs, vice chancellor for institutional planning and advancement, and, in 2001, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs.[5] In this last role, he oversaw academics, development, alumni relations, and residential and student life.[6] After Gordon Gee's departure in 2007, he was named interim chancellor. He was named chancellor suo jure on March 1, 2008, by the university's Board of Trust. In 2009, he created an expanded financial aid program that replaced undergraduate need-based loans with grant and scholarship assistance.[7]

He has also written widely on legislation, administrative law, and professional responsibility. He has served as the chair of the Scholars Committee on the Federal Judiciary and as chair of the Rules Advisory Committee of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.[5]

Zeppos was appointed to the National Security Higher Education Advisory Board, a program of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2005.[1] He serves on the Board of Directors of Fulbright Canada.[8] He is a member of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics and serves on a number of institutions’ Board of Directors: Association of American Universities, Foundation for Educational Exchange Between Canada and the United States of America (Fulbright Canada), Mary Parrish Center, Conexión Américas, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He also recently served as president of the Southeastern Conference and co-chair of the United States Senate-appointed Task Force on Government Regulation of Higher Education. [9]

Personal life[edit]

Zeppos is married to Lydia Howarth, a writer, and has two sons.[5] His salary is over $2.2 million.[10]

According to OpenSecrets, Zeppos has contributed nearly $70,000 to Democrats, including Barack Obama and Elizabeth Warren.[11]


  1. ^ a b c "Nicholas S. Zeppos". Vanderbilt Law School. Retrieved December 9, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Vanderbilt View : Answering the Call". Retrieved 1 October 2017. 
  3. ^ "University of Wisconsin Law School Gargoyle Alumni Magazine". Retrieved 1 October 2017. 
  4. ^ "WISCONSIN LAW REVIEW 1920 (Vol 1)" (PDF). Retrieved 1 October 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c "Zeppos named interim chancellor". The Vanderbilt Register. Vanderbilt University. 2007-07-13. Archived from the original on 2013-10-23. Retrieved 2007-07-16. 
  6. ^ "Vanderbilt Provost Office". Vanderbilt University. 2005. Retrieved 2007-07-16. 
  7. ^ "Vanderbilt Chancellor Office". Vanderbilt University. 2017. Retrieved 2018-01-15. 
  8. ^ "Board of Directors". Fulbright Canada. Retrieved December 9, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Vanderbilt Chancellor Office". Vanderbilt University. 2017. Retrieved 2018-01-15. 
  10. ^ Nicholas Zeppos, Vanderbilt University. Forbes, downloaded 9 Feb 2018.
  11. ^

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
E. Gordon Gee
Vanderbilt University Chancellors
March 1, 2008 – present
Succeeded by