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Meet the Director of Communications and External Relations

Jeff Tippett, EdD currently serves as the Director of Communications and External Relations, where he leads the coordination and execution of all internal and external communications for the division. He also oversees the division’s advancement work.

Before joining UT, Tippett led communications at the oldest historically black college and university (HBCU) in the South. In this role, he reversed years of stagnant and negative press, placed the university on the national stage, helped elevate the university’s brand, and created new momentum felt campus-wide and beyond. In addition, he helped bolster success through engagement with faculty, staff, students, prospective students, alumni, and donors.

Tippett founded a public affairs and communications firm attracting local to international clients, where he designed and implemented communications campaigns that changed laws and elected political figures. He helped clients find legislative and appropriations success lobbying for a variety of local to federal issues—including higher education. His work has been acclaimed by several peer-validated awards, including the prestigious American Advertising Award. He served on a presidential campaign and traveled the globe speaking on persuasive communications.

Tippett attended graduate and undergraduate school at East Carolina University, Greenville, NC and completed his doctorate in higher education leadership at Southwestern College, Winfield, Kansas.

He can be reached at or (865) 974-5652.