Pellissippi State chooses veteran site dean as head of Strawberry Plains Campus

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Mike North sitting at deskPellissippi State Community College has selected Mike North, an experienced site dean, to lead the new Strawberry Plains Campus.

North currently serves as the assistant dean and top administrator for Pellissippi State’s Division Street Campus, a position he has been in since 2003. He began his career at Pellissippi State as a counselor almost 20 years ago and has worked at all of the college’s campuses.

“Mike brings experience to the position, which I think we need with the start of a new campus,” said Pellissippi State President Anthony Wise. “We’ll be adding new support staff positions, academic programs, and partnership programs in the community, and his experience as site dean at Division Street positions him well to lead Strawberry Plains.”

Pellissippi State acquired the Strawberry Plains Campus recently to expand higher education access to areas of Knox and surrounding counties that are traditionally underserved by colleges and universities. The 33-acre property is the site of the former Philips Consumer Electronics’ East Tennessee headquarters.

“It’s exciting to think about what the college could do at Strawberry Plains, and I feel very fortunate to be part of the process,” said North.

The Strawberry Plains Campus is scheduled to open fall semester for classes.

North’s introduction to Pellissippi State came in 1991, when he toured the main campus on Hardin Valley Road as part of a graduate class at the University of Tennessee. Coincidentally, he was in the midst of a decision about where to do the practicum for his master’s degree. The visit resonated, North says, and he ultimately chose Pellissippi State.

“I just loved the feel—it felt very comfortable here. I really liked the people I met. It seemed so hands-on, so accessible.”

North, 46, has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Iowa. His master’s degree from UT is in college student personnel. He earned a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from UT as well.

The practicum at Pellissippi State in 1992 led to a full-time job at the Student Development Center as a counselor, a position North was in for a decade before being chosen assistant dean at the Division Street Campus.

North also served as the interim vice president for Student Success and Enrollment Management for Pellissippi State from February 2007 to June 2008.

During the summers, when the Division Street Campus closes, he has worked as site dean at the Magnolia Avenue and Blount County campuses whenever the current deans have been called to perform additional duties.

North says he will miss the staff, faculty and students of the Division Street Campus.

“However, it’s a good time for me to experience a change, and I am very appreciative of the opportunity to go to Strawberry Plains. I have served at Division Street as site dean for almost 10 years, so it will be healthy for the campus (and me) to have some fresh ideas.”

Pellissippi State has five campuses: Hardin Valley, Blount County, Division Street, Magnolia Avenue and, now, Strawberry Plains. The new site is located at 7201 Strawberry Plains Pike in Knoxville.

Learn more about Pellissippi State by visiting or calling (865) 694-6400.