July 07, 2010
KNOXVILLE – Bonnie Yegidis, vice president for academic affairs and student success for the University of Tennessee System, is resigning to accept a post with another university, and Katie High has been appointed to fill the position as interim.
High, chief of staff to UT Interim President Jan Simek, will serve in the interim role while a search is conducted to fill the position. She has more than eight years of leadership experience in academic and student affairs with UT and has been on University staff in a variety of capacities for more than 25 years.
Yegidis has been with UT since 2008. She is leaving to become professor and director of the School of Social Work at the University of South Florida, her alma mater. She previously taught at USF and was a founding faculty member of the social work program.
Yegidis worked closely with all of UT's campuses to coordinate mission statements, strategic plans and policies for admission, progression and retention standards.
She also oversaw significant developments for the University in response to the Complete College Tennessee Act passed by the state legislature in January, including articulation agreements between UT and other public higher education institutions in Tennessee, and in helping UT campuses implement or continue retention plans to increase graduation rates.
"Increasing retention and graduation rates, and developing articulation agreements between Tennessee's public institutions are key to the most effective use of higher education resources," UT Interim President Jan Simek said. "These also are big challenges. Dr. Yegidis has led a very effective effort to strategically position us in these areas, and I am confident Katie will sustain and build on this momentum."
High served as interim vice president for academic affairs and student success in 2008 before she was appointed chief of staff later that year.
She was named associate vice president for academic affairs and student success in 2005 and served in that capacity for three years. From 2001 to 2005, she was vice chancellor for student affairs at the University of Tennessee at Martin, where she oversaw admissions, financial aid and all student services.
“I feel strongly about the need to continuously improve the quality educational experience at UT and am happy to step in during this time of transition,” High said. “Great progress has been achieved in recent months and years, and I will work to ensure advancement of key initiatives continues.”
High received a doctorate in higher education administration from UT in 1982. She formerly has served as a UT director of management development, director of licensing, associate senior vice president and chief of staff to the president.
High is a native of Ohio and a graduate of Miami University, where she received bachelor's and master's degrees. She taught public school in Knoxville and Clinton for nine years.
She is past chair of the Tennessee American College Testing (ACT) Policy Council and serves on the Governor's task force for accountability and dropout prevention. She was a member of the Tennessee Diploma Project, which led to strengthening the high school curriculum in Tennessee, and is a consultant to local government and K-12 education.