Public Database Shows Salary Information For University Of Tennessee Employees

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The Tennessee Conservative Staff –

A public database shows the base salaries for the more than 12,000 people that are employed by the University of Tennessee across all 95 counties in the state. About 75% of that workforce is located on the Knoxville campus. 

Here is a breakdown of UT’s top-paid employees. 



Josh Heupel, the head football coach for Tennessee, earns the most across the system at UT, making around $9 million a year. Heupel’s base yearly salary is set at $275,000, but he makes around $8.725 million in supplemental pay. His recent contract displays an extension through 2029. 

Other top-earning coaches in the UT system are listed below based on their base and supplemental pay. All these coaches are based in Knoxville. 

Rick Barnes – men’s head basketball coach

  • Base pay: $245,000
  • Supplemental pay: $5,455,000
  • Total: $5,700,000

Tony Vitello – head baseball coach

  • Base pay: $350,000
  • Supplemental pay: $1,150,000
  • Total: $1,500,000

Tim Banks – assistant football coach

  • Base pay: $290,000
  • Supplemental pay: $1,210,000
  • Total: $1,500,000

Kellie Harper – women’s head basketball coach

  • Base pay: $275,000
  • Supplemental pay: $825,000
  • Total: $1,100,000

With a recent raise bringing him to a $2.2 million base salary, Daniel White, Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics is the top-paid non-coaching employee in the entire UT system. He is located at the university’s Knoxville campus.

Up to $300,000 in incentives are available to White as well, based on team athletic performance, team academic performance and departmental operational goals. As a part of his contract, he also receives a 5% salary increase each year. Coaches are also eligible for bonuses for championship wins, bowl games and other achievements. 

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Administration and Academics:

UT System President Randy Boyd serves without a salary but does receive $10,000 yearly to cover state health insurance costs. 

The database does not include additional pay or bonuses. Below are the top five paid employees, not including White. 

Chancellor Donde Plowman has a base salary of $820,000. She received a 24% raise in 2022. Plowman became the highest-paid chancellor in the university’s history when she was hired in 2019. Previously, former Chancellor Beverly Davenport was the highest-paid chancellor with an annual salary of $585,000. 

Here are the remaining four:

  • Stephen Mangum, professor and business dean, $531,280
  • Chris Cimino, senior vice chancellor of finance and administration, $456,292
  • Bruce Behn, associate business dean and professor, $450,397
  • Shay Scott, professor of practice and Global Supply Chain Institute executive director, $440,185

Health Science Center:

Located in Memphis, the UT Health Science Center is home to programs for dentistry, graduate health sciences, health professions, medicine, nursing and pharmacy. 

According to the online database, here are the top five salary earners at that campus.

  • Dr. Peter Buckley, chancellor: $988,000
  • Dr. David Shibata, professor and chair: $833,195
  • Dr. Scott Strome, executive dean: $821,912
  • Dr. Neil Hayes, professor, Hayes Research Lab director: $616,090
  • Kennard Brown, executive vice chancellor and COO: $606,674

All system employees who make $500,000 or more are based at the main campus in Knoxville or at the Health Science Center in Memphis. According to the latest contracts and salaries listed on the UT system website, here are their annual salaries. Supplemental pay for coaches is added where applicable. 

This list does not include those who were previously mentioned. 

  • Glen Elarbee, assistant football coach: $900,000
  • Joey Halzle, assistant football coach: $850,000
  • Rodney Garner, assistant football coach: $785,000
  • Brian Jean-Mary, assistant football coach: $665,000
  • Mike Ekeler, assistant football coach: $575,000
  • Dr. Steve Schwab, professor, UT Health Science Center: $551,964
  • Willie Martinez, assistant football coach: $540,000
  • Dr. Robert Craft, professor, UT Health Science Center: $504,181
  • Dr. James Haynes, dean, UT Health Science Center: $500,000
  • Jerry Mack, assistant football coach: $500,000

Here are the top ten salary earners for each additional campus in the UT system. 


• Steven Angle, chancellor: $420,812

• Russell Wright, head football coach: $393,900

• Hemant Jain, business professor and Max Finley chair: $375,944

• Milan Earl, head men’s basketball coach: $366,900

• Robert Dooley, business dean and professor: $346,808

• Jerold Hale, provost and senior vice chancellor: $330,165

• Daniel Pack, engineering dean and professor: $327,638

• Anthony Skjellum, research institute director and professor: $324,700

• Mina Sartipi, director of Center for Urban Informatics and Progress: $317,517

• Rebecca Shortridge, accounting department head and chair: $283,050


  • Tommy Cates, Tom E. Hendrix Chair of Excellence in Free Enterprise and business professor: $321,659
  • Sean Walker, management, marketing and information systems interim chair and professor: $285,603
  • Jason Simpson, head football coach: $267,090
  • Joey Mehlhorn, agriculture, geoscience and natural resources professor and dean of graduate studies: $265,028
  • Keith Carver, chancellor: $255,493
  • Brandon Kilburn, management, marketing and information systems professor: $251,919
  • Philip Cavalier, academic affairs provost and vice chancellor: $239,801
  • Ryan Ridder, men’s basketball head coach: $228,000
  • Petra McPhearson, finance and administration vice chancellor: $196,483
  • Ahmad Tootoonchi, dean of business and global affairs: $184,442


  • Judy Cheatham, academic provost: $166,350
  • Robert Shelton, executive vice chancellor and COO: $138,375
  • Lorie Jones, associate business professor: $128,912
  • Patrick Ford, business instructor: $110,655
  • Cedrick Nkulu, CIO: $109,301
  • Gennifer Baker, assistant nursing professor: $106,498
  • George Cheatham Jr., English professor: $98,173
  • Mae Decker, assistant nursing professor: $96,313
  • James Hlubb, assistant vice chancellor, human resources: $93,768
  • Rhonda Clinard, associate vice chancellor: $92,100

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