Dr. Keith Carver is the Chancellor at University of Tennessee at Martin and arguably the biggest Skyhawks fan on campus. Chancellor Carver covers several interesting and important topics across higher education and college athletics in this interview. The episode begins with an institutional profile and history lesson about UTM and their athletic nicknames. He explains why that century old motto of athletics being the “Front Porch” is true, except that he thinks it’s more like a living room. Chancellor Carver shares why university systems can be incredibly valuable collaboration opportunities, and what the system president’s role is in oversight of national issues facing college athletics. Travis asks the question on what a president or chancellor’s role is in athletic conference governance and whether college leaders would talk very much if it weren’t for athletics. Chancellor Carver shares his leadership philosophy working with his athletic director Kurt McGuffin and ends the conversation with advice on what prospective ADs need to know about challenges ahead for higher education and why they should be subscribed to Inside Higher Ed and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Spoiler Alert: The chancellor is a confirmed D1.Ticker subscriber and enjoys winding down with a good Evening Standard to keep pace with college athletics.
2:00 Institutional Profile
4:14 History of Athletic Nickname Changes at UT Martin
7:00 Campus Identity as the Skyhawks
8:50 “Living Room” Instead of “Front Porch”
10:54 The Role of Athletics Amidst an Enrollment Decline
13:41 The Future of University System Collaborations in College Athletics
20:51 System President/Board Chair Oversight of Chancellors on NCAA/Athletics Decisions
24:33 Leadership Philosophy Working with VC/AD Kurt McGuffin
29:25 How Future ADs Can Better Understand Overall Institutional Administration
34:31 Explaining Chancellor Role in Governing at the Conference Level
36:35 Would College Presidents Speak Much without College Athletics?
38:33 Higher Ed Changes Future ADs Should Understand