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Ruth A. Darling

Assistant Provost for Student Success, Affiliate Faculty


Ruth Darling serves as Assistant Provost for Student Success at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and as affiliate faculty in the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences, College Student Personnel Program. Previously, Darling was the Director of Advising Services for the College of Arts and Sciences and Associate Vice Provost and Director of the Thornton Athletic Student Life Center. Darling first came to the University of Tennessee in 1975 to pursue her graduate work in Educational Psychology.  She has participated in and provided leadership for various initiatives and programs related to undergraduate education, student success and retention, academic advising, curriculum and policy development, and collegiate athletics.  As Assistant Provost, Darling’s direct reports include the Student Success Center, First-Year Programs, the Student Support Services TRIO Program, and the Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships.  In addition, she coordinates university academic advising and tutoring and learning assistance initiatives.

Darling is past President of the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) and has received the National “Service” to NACADA Award. Currently, she serves as Chair of the NACADA/NCAA Advisory Board and as a member of the NACADA Journal Editorial Board and the NACADA Consultants Bureau.  Darling has served as a faculty member for the NACADA Administrator’s Institute, Summer Institute, the Assessment Institute and Advising Research Seminar.  She co-authored two articles in Academic advising: New insights for teaching and learning in the first year – “The academic advisor as teacher: First-year transitions” and “First-generation college students: First-year challenges.” A pocket-guide, “Effective Academic Advising and Success Strategies for Student-Athletes” is in publication.

Darling has presented at numerous national meetings and conferences and serves as a consultant on various aspects of academic advising in higher education, student success and retention, academic support for student athletes, leadership in higher education, and first-generation college students. She received her Doctorate in Leadership Studies in Higher Education from the College of Education, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Contact Information

  • 1817 Melrose Avenue The University of Tennessee Knoxville, TN 37996
  • Phone: 865-974-3523
  • E-mail: