Dr. Tom Rakes became the ninth UT Martin chancellor on July 1, 2007. Rakes joined UT Martin in 2002 as vice chancellor for academic affairs and professor of educational studies. He was named provost in 2005.
Now serving in his eighth year as Chancellor, the campus has flourished with notable growth in online enrollment and the completion of over $100 million in capital and maintenance projects with an additional $85 million in the planning stage. Award-winning performances by the campus radio station, student chemical society chapter, campus recycling group, agriculture, business, Greek organizations, military science and many others highlight the accomplishments and commitment of an engaged student body. Additionally, outstanding success by student-athletes both in competition and in the classroom characterize the university's progress and achievements in NCAA Division I athletics. The infrastructure to support this strong, vibrant regional university continues to evolve as major capital improvement projects continue.
At the heart of the university are committed teaching faculty members who excel in providing a high-quality educational experience for students. Beyond the classroom, these faculty members publish, hold leadership positions, conduct research, and perform public service in a way that positions UT Martin for greater impact locally, regionally and beyond.
Dr. Rakes received a bachelor's degree in psychology from Milligan College, a master's degree in reading from East Tennessee State University and a doctor of education from UT Knoxville. Before coming to UT Martin, he was interim president at University of Louisiana at Monroe. He began his employment at Monroe in 1995 as College of Education and Human Development dean and professor. He also served as vice provost and dean for Graduate Studies and Research. He became UL Monroe provost and vice president for academic affairs in 2000. Rakes previously served as a University of Memphis professor and director of the Division of Research and Development in the College of Education. He also served as chair and professor in the Department of Instruction and Curriculum Leadership.
His first education position was in Johnson City, Tenn., as a teacher and basketball coach. Rakes has completed an extensive list of scholarly activities, including more than 160 refereed presentations and publications. He is a member of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission Performance Funding Standards Review Committee, the Complete College Act Funding Formual Committe, the Tennessee Campus Compact Board of Directors and the National Forum of Educational Administration and Supervision Journal advisory board. He is a recipient of the Tennessee Institute for Pre-professionals Outstanding Service Award, among numerous other honors and leadership appointments.
Chancellor Rakes is serving on the Weakley County United Way Board of Directors and is past chair and currently serving on the Ohio Valley Conference Council of Presidents. He serves on the Weakley County Economic Development Board (WCED) and chair of the WCED Committee on Professional Services, Health and Education. Dr. Rakes also serves on two statewide groups including the Performance Funding Committee and the Complete College Tennessee Task Force. Chancellor Rakes also serves as the chair of the UT Chancellors group and the UT System Equity and Diversity Task Force. In August of 2010, Dr. Rakes traveled to Japan to participate in a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the partnership between UT Martin and Hirosoki University. During the visit, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Hirosoki University. He has authored or coauthored more than 160 refereed publications and presentations. Additionally, he has been involved in consultation and presentations for professional development and accreditation for more than 40 different institutions of higher education. Since 1978, he has been associated with 11 training programs that have been developed for business or nonprofit organizations operating in six states. Corporate consulting has involved communications improvement and human resources evaluation for hotel, manufacturing, insurance and retail businesses.
Rakes' wife, Dr. Glenda Rakes, is a UT Martin professor of education. The couple has two children and two grandchildren.
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Chancellor's Honor Roll
The outstanding academic achievements of undergraduate students at the University of Tennessee at Martin have been honored with publication of the Fall 2016 Chancellor's out of state Honor Roll and Fall 2016 Chancellor's in state Honor Roll.