Marshall Steward was recently promoted to the Senior Staff position of Assistant Athletics Director for Academic Services & Assistant Provost, Tennessee Director of Athletics Phillip Fulmer and Provost John Zomchick announced Wednesday.
Steward had already been serving on the Tennessee Athletics Expanded Senior Staff as Executive Director of Academic Services at the Thornton Athletics Student Life Center, where he oversees the staff’s day-to-day academic support operations.
In his enhanced role, Steward maintains his oversight responsibilities at the Thornton Center while also working alongside key administrators in leading diversity and inclusion initiatives within the athletics department.
As part of his Assistant Provost duties, Steward has a voice on the university’s academic affairs team.
“Marshall has proven time and again to be a positive influence in the academic careers of our student-athletes,” Zomchick said. “During his time in the Thornton Center, he has helped to ensure that the commitment to all-out effort on the sports fields extends to the classroom. He is, in short, an outstanding role model for our student-athletes and a tremendous asset in our student support programs.”
Steward has held leadership positions within the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics (N4A), including serving as the Chair of the Ethnic Concerns Committee.
And at the institutional level, he was Tennessee Athletics’ representative on the Chancellor’s Council for Diversity and Interculturalism in 2019. Appointed by the Chancellor, the council advises campus administration on creating and sustaining a welcoming, supportive and inclusive campus climate to all groups. Goals for the council include attracting and retaining faculty and staff from under-represented populations; attracting, retaining, and graduating students from historically under-represented populations and international students; and ensuring that undergraduate curricular requirements include significant intercultural perspectives.
Steward also acted as a committee Chair for UT’s Commission for Blacks, a separate body appointed by the Chancellor to advise on planning, implementation and evaluation of university programs, policies and services as they relate to Black students, faculty and staff.
“We’re all excited for Marshall to step into a larger leadership position,” Fulmer said. “He’s a very well-rounded administrator who has earned the respect of our entire campus. And he’s a difference-maker when it comes to positively impacting the experience of our student-athletes. Marshall is very deserving of this opportunity, and this enhanced role is something we’ve been working on for quite some time.
“While Marshall will help guide our diversity and inclusion efforts, it’s important to note that it falls on everyone in our department to actively engage as advocates and cultivate a healthy and inclusive culture where minorities are well represented and everyone is valued. It isn’t one individual’s job alone.”
Steward is a member of the NCAA’s Dr. Charles Whitcomb Leadership Institute, a nationally recognized professional development program designed to assist ethnic minorities in strategically mapping out their careers in athletics administration.
He was first hired at Tennessee as an academic counselor in 2012 and was steadily elevated to assistant and associate director while working closely with UT’s football, track & field, soccer and men’s golf programs.
“I came to Tennessee to learn from the best in the business and to positively impact the student-athlete experience at a premier institution in an elite conference,” Steward said. “Eight years later, my family and I are still here because of the people. Thank you, AD Fulmer, Provost Zomchick and (Senior Associate Athletics Director & Associate Provost Dr. Joe Scogin) for your vision and commitment to making UT better than you found it.
“Serving as a senior leader within one of the nation’s most storied athletic departments at such a pivotal time in society and intercollegiate athletics is a tremendous honor and incredible responsibility. I look forward getting to work.”
Prior to his arrival at Tennessee, Steward served as the Director of Athletic Academic Services at Western Michigan University, where he began as an academic advisor in 2009.
A native of Mt. Vernon, Indiana, Steward holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Sport Management from Indiana State University. He was a member of the ISU football team as undergraduate and then served as a graduate assistant for tutorial services in his alma mater’s Student Academic Services Center.
He is currently pursuing his PhD in the University of Tennessee’s Higher Education Administration program.
An active mentor with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of East Tennessee, Steward and his wife, Kramer, reside in Knoxville with their sons, Kyron and Kaylor, and their two foster children.