Chief of Staff to the President Margie Nichols Named Interim Vice Chancellor for Communications

Margie Nichols headshotWe are pleased to join in an announcement we both believe represents an excellent solution to filling a critical need for the university.

Margie Nichols, currently Chief of Staff to the University President, will be named interim Vice Chancellor for Communications for the Knoxville campus, succeeding Tom Milligan. Tom will leave on September 1 to become Executive Vice Chancellor for University Relations at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Margie joined UT in November 2007 as a member of the president’s senior staff. Having spent the past several months developing the Chief of Staff position, she leaves the office in a good posture to go forward. Next steps for filling that vacancy are to be determined shortly.  Margie’s transition into her new role will take place over the next few weeks.

Her background and experience make her uniquely qualified to head the strong communications and marketing team at UT Knoxville that includes media relations, creative communications and video and photo services. Under Margie’s leadership, this team will be able to continue its success in promoting the flagship campus and its unique role in the state.

Margie is highly respected within the community and has good insight into how the university functions. She has served as past president of the Executive Women’s Association and is a former member of the UT National Alumni Association Board of Governors Executive Committee. She is a former chair of the UT Knoxville Chancellor’s Associates, and she has a bachelor’s degree in English from UT Martin.

Before joining UT, Margie was senior director of communications and government relations for Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam. She joined Haslam’s senior staff in January 2004 with responsibility for internal and external communications for the city. She worked for 25 years in television news, including an eight-year stint as news director at WBIR-TV in Knoxville, and in positions with Nashville and Memphis TV stations.

We appreciate Tom’s contributions and are pleased to have someone of Margie’s caliber to continue in leadership.  The communications group at UTK has developed into an important aspect of the Chancellor’s staff over the past few years and has played an instrumental role in moving UT Knoxville forward.  Margie will, we know, help continue this momentum.