Jeff Maples, senior associate vice chancellor of finance and administration, oversees the finances of almost all campus services, such as dining services, parking and transit, the VolShop, and Thompson-Boling Arena, to name a few.
“I’m the person that supposedly steers the ship,” he joked
Maples, who is also an alumnus, has worked at UT for nearly 30 years.
His favorite aspect of his job is working alongside staff who are dedicated to improving the university.
“There are some great people here,” Maples said. “Folks who really care about this place dearly. You do it because it gets in your blood. You’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with, and I’ve got some great people who work with me.”
Outside his work with UT, Maples is involved with his church and tries to find time to golf as much as possible. He also enjoys spending time with his growing family.
“My two main things right now are my wife and my family,” he said. “I now have two grandchildren. One is two years old and one is two weeks old. I’m completely enamored with them. They really bring me a great deal of joy.”
When he needs to get away, Maples enjoys the scenic beauty and quiet around Cades Cove. When he can’t make it to the mountains, he finds the same serenity walking around campus and seeing the growth that has taken place.
“I like to just walk across campus and see what we’ve done, even if it’s only for a few minutes,” he said. “I’ve been involved with many of the changes over the past 10 years. It’s been the collective effort of a lot of people, and I feel a great deal of pride.”
To Maples, it is the combination of personal and university traditions that make UT so special.
“My whole family are UT graduates,” he said. “It’s been great for all of us. Everybody had a great experience.”
Of his favorite campus traditions, game-day events rank high.
“The Vol Walk, the Pride of the Southland Band marching, the running through the T, singing the alma mater—all of that is important to me,” he said. “Also, I really enjoy seeing the recognition that Torchbearers receive every year.”
Maples believes these traditions bolster a sense of community among those associated with the university.
“The Volunteer spirit is the willingness to help others, both in school and out of school,” he said. “It means you have a kindred spirit in someone else who is a Volunteer—that’s what it’s all about.”