Dr. Jothany L. Blackwood appointed Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Dr. Jothany Blackwood, vice chancellor for academic affairs

The Tennessee Board of Regents has approved the appointment of Dr. Jothany L. Blackwood as vice chancellor for academic affairs for The College System of Tennessee, the state’s public community and technical colleges.

Blackwood previously served as vice president for academic success at San Antonio College in Texas, winner of The Aspen Institute’s 2021 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, which recognizes high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges.

The vice chancellor leads the Office of Academic Affairs at the TBR system office and is the system’s chief academic officer, working with the presidents, faculty, and academic officers of the 13 community colleges and 27 colleges of applied technology governed by the Board of Regents.

With over 23 years of experience, Blackwood demonstrates a passion for teaching and learning and developing innovative models to support student success. Prior to her current appointment, she has played key roles in system- and college-level initiatives including:

  • Led system advisory committees that engaged nearly 100 industry/business partners.
  • Established a Pathways Leadership Council, an integrated, systematized leadership collective for multiple colleges.
  • Led a system-wide redesign on Guided Pathways that was recognized by the Community College Research Center (CCRC).
  • Led development of one of the first bachelor’s degree at a community college.
  • Implemented a faculty mentoring program and Teaching and Learning Center.
  • Led Courageous Conversations and Charrettes to engage stakeholders.

Blackwood also served as:

  • Liaison for strategic/integrated planning for State Center Community College District in California.
  • Dean of instruction for fine, performing and communication arts at Fresno City College.
  • Faculty member and coordinator of the composition program at Fresno Pacific University.
  • Director of the writing center and English instructor at Fisk University.

A native of Nashville, Dr. Blackwood earned two degrees from Tennessee State University – a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Masters in English. Dr. Blackwood also earned a Doctorate from the California State University, Fresno in Educational Leadership. She was also selected to participate in a Leadership Institute at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

TBR Chancellor Flora W. Tydings, who led a national search for the position and recommended her appointment to the Board of regents, said: “Dr. Blackwood brings a rich and intricate knowledge of and experience in higher education, with many years of service across several states. We are fortunate to have her join our team as chief academic officer, and she has quickly identified and is heading several new initiatives that will lead to greater success for our students and faculty across the state.” 

“I am deeply grateful to have the opportunity to serve TBR, its wonderful institutions, and the students across Tennessee, a place that is in my heart no matter where my leadership journey has carried me,” Blackwood said. “As a native of Nashville, I know that TBR has always been a beacon of excellence that ensured citizens had access to high quality education and a real chance to experience social and economic mobility. I remain committed to serving as an example of TBR’s mission and vision in action and supporting the amazing leaders, faculty and staff who share that dedication to Tennessee and its citizens.”

Blackwood succeeds Dr. Allana Hamilton, who passed away in February after 30 years as a professor and administrator at Northeast State Community College, president of Jackson State Community College and TBR’s vice chancellor for academic affairs.

The College System of Tennessee is the state’s largest public higher education system, with 13 community colleges, 27 colleges of applied technology and the online TN eCampus serving approximately 140,000 students. The system is governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.