Dr. Brian Donavant
Interim Executive Director
538 University Street
145 Gooch Hall
Martin, TN 38238
Brian Donavant is a Professor of Criminal Justice, and Interim Executive Director of Educational Outreach. He also serves as project director for UTM's U.S. Department of Education Title III Strengthening Institutions initiative to develop and implement innovative student service programs that improve academic success and increase student retention.
Donavant has published in numerous scholarly journals and professional venues, and his works are cited extensively in domestic and international journals and government reports. He serves on the UT Institute for Public Service's Law Enforcement Innovation Center Advisory Board, and received the Institute's 2013 Faculty Excellence Award. Donavant also served on the Executive Board of the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education's Commission of Professors of Adult Education, and as a consultant on adult degree completion to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and Lumina Foundation for Education. He is past president of the UT Mai1in Faculty Senate, former chair of the University of Tennessee Faculty Council, former member of the UT Board of Trustees, and a graduate of the UT Leadership Institute and WestStar Leadership Program.
Before coming to UTM, Donavant was the criminal justice instructor at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, and served for more than 21 years as a police officer in Tennessee and Mississippi, retiring as Lieutenant with the Gulfport Police Department. While at Gulfport, he served as commander of the Communications Division and Mounted Patrol Unit, as well as Training Director and in a variety of patrol and investigative capacities, and received the Hurricane Katrina Service Award. He holds Police Instructor ce11ifications from the Mississippi POST Commission and U.S. Department of Justice, and has conducted training on a national basis in areas such as patrol and tactical operations, drug enforcement, mounted patrol operations, police training development, and policy development. Donavant also served as Training Director for the Gulf Coast High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) task force. Under his leadership, Gulf Coast HIDTA was designated by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy as HIDTA of the Year for its innovative and comprehensive training programs in the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.
Donavant holds a Ph.D. in Adult Education from The University of Southern Mississippi, Master of Education from William Carey College, Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Memphis State University, and Bachelor of University Studies from UT Martin.