Executive Vice Chancellor,
Chief Academic Officer
As Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer, Donde Plowman leads and oversees the university’s academic enterprise, research initiatives, student affairs division, and new office of diversity and inclusion. This position reports directly to the chancellor, and is the responsible authority in the absence of the chancellor. Reporting to this position are 11 deans, three vice chancellors, a team of associate and assistant vice chancellors, and other unit directors.
Meet EVC Plowman
Donde Plowman began serving as Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer in January 2017 after six and a half years as the James Jr. and Susan Stuart Dean of the College of Business Administration at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In 2010, she became the ninth dean in the school’s history. Under Plowman’s leadership, the college increased enrollments by 35% in six years, added 70 new faculty, created several new academic programs, including the College of Business Honors Academy, the Clifton Strengths Institute, and many student services. She led a major fundraising effort that resulted in nearly $150 million, including $84 million for a new building that opened in August 2017. In that time period the college moved up in the US News & World Report rankings of undergraduate business programs from #72 to #45.
Prior to coming to Nebraska, Plowman was on the management faculty at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, where she served two years as Department Head of the Department of Management. She received her doctorate in Strategic Management from the University of Texas at Austin. She began her academic career at the University of Texas at San Antonio as an Assistant Professor of Management and advanced to the position of Professor and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research, where she was responsible for the creation of the doctorate degree in Business. Plowman received her undergraduate degree with a major in English from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.
Plowman has taught and written extensively on organizational change, leadership, and decision making. Her more than 50 publications have appeared in Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Organization Science, Leadership Quarterly, Decision Sciences, among many other top journals. In 2008 she was awarded one of the most highly coveted awards in her field — the Academy of Management Journal Best paper Award for her paper, “Radical Change Accidentally: The Emergence and Amplification of Small Change.” Over her career she has received numerous teaching and research awards.
In 2015, Plowman received the “Inspire Woman of the Year Award,” given by the Lincoln Journal Star. She has twice been named one of the 30 Most Influential Women in Lincoln and in 2016 received the Noddle Distinguished Development Service Award from the Nebraska University Board of Trustees in recognition of her fundraising efforts as Dean of the College of Business.
EVC Plowman’s Campus Initiatives
Since becoming Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer, Plowman has co-led the Nebraska 150 Commission, a strategic planning effort that developed a bold new vision for the campus that coincided with the Sesquicentennial Celebration in February 2019. The commission included 150 stakeholders organized into 8 committees who worked for nearly a year to develop goals and strategies that will be unfolded by the Chancellor during the celebration of the 150-year history of the campus.
Plowman’s initiative around inclusive excellence includes the development of an Office of Diversity and Inclusion, as well as the hiring of an inaugural Vice Chancellor of Diversity and Inclusion to begin April 1, 2019. The EVC Office has led campus-wide conversations on inclusive excellence and organized three campus diversity workgroups focused on faculty and staff, students, and curriculum. Each of these groups has identified short-term and long-term action strategies for improving inclusive excellence on campus.
The EVC leadership team sponsors Husker Dialogues at the beginning of each academic year, which is attended by more than 4,000 first-time students and aimed at helping them learn how to have difficult conversations with one another. In 2018, EVC leadership launched the First Generation Nebraska program. ‘First Gen’ brings together first-generation students, staff, and faculty. In the spring of 2017, Plowman launched #GreekVitality, an initiative involving the leaders of all Greek houses and their alumni advisors focusing on how to strengthen the Greek culture at the university.
Plowman is leading an effort to help develop academic leaders all across campus and has created leadership development programs for department chairs, associate deans, and deans. In the fall of 2018, the EVC Office launched its first cohort of the Staff Leadership Academy, a six-month professional development program for professional staff at the university. In the spring of 2019 the EVC Office launched a new leadership development program for faculty who are considering a leadership role or are in their first leadership position and considering continuing on a leadership path. Called Faculty Leadership in Academia: From Inspiration to Reality, FLAIR is a cohort-based program that runs from January through December.
Plowman’s notion that leadership is simply the “willingness to act” has become a theme across the campus, in all the leadership development programs, and in communications from her office. She regularly posts #WillingnessToAct tips on twitter. You can follow her at @DondePlowman.