Chancellor's Biography

Kimberly K. Estep, Ph.D., WGU Tennessee Chancellor

Chancellor Kimberly K. Estep

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 five-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 4,000 students, with nearly 3,000 alumni throughout the state. She 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 30 years of 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 and master's degree in history from Auburn University, a master's degree in adult education from the University of Georgia, and a B.A. from Judson College in Marion, Alabama.

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. In 2016, Women in Higher Education in Tennessee (WHET) recognized her as its Woman of Achievement. In 2017-18, she was a finalist for the Nashville ATHENA Award.

An Ozark, Alabama, native, Dr. Estep lives in Murfreesboro with her husband, Paul Adams. They have three grown children.

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