Kimberly K. Estep, Ph.D., WGU Tennessee Chancellor
Dr. Kimberly K. Estep is the chancellor of WGU Tennessee, a state-endorsed, nonprofit, accredited university launched in July 2013 with one goal – to expand working adults’ access to higher education throughout Tennessee.
In her four-year tenure at the helm of the online university, which is part of Governor Haslam’s Drive to 55 initiative, Dr. Estep has worked to grow WGU Tennessee’s enrollment to more than 3,400 students, with more than 2,000 alumni throughout the state. She has also led the charge in securing articulation agreements between WGU Tennessee and all 13 community colleges in the state, as well as forming partnerships with many of Tennessee’s largest and most recognizable organizations and companies.
Dr. Estep brings more than 25 years’ experience in higher education to her role as WGU Tennessee’s first chancellor. Most recently, she served as vice president for academic affairs and student services at Nashville State Community College. Dr. Estep has held leadership roles at other institutions including Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tennessee, Thomas University in Thomasville, Georgia, and Friends University in Wichita, Kansas.
Dr. Estep holds a doctorate in history from Auburn University and a master’s degree in adult education from the University of Georgia. She is based in WGU Tennessee’s main office in Franklin and spends her time traveling the state and working with higher-education, community, and business leaders to increase awareness of WGU Tennessee, boost recruitment, and establish partnerships. She sits on the advisory board of the Virtual Academy of Business and Marketing within Metro Nashville Public Schools, is a member of the Rotary Club of Nashville, and volunteers regularly with Nashville literacy nonprofit Book’em. She serves on the Education & Workforce Committee for the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry. In 2016, Women in Higher Education in Tennessee (WHET) recognized her as their Woman of Acheivement.
An Ozark, Alabama, native, Dr. Estep lives in Murfreesboro with her husband, Paul Adams.