Chattanooga native Brent Goldberg named new UTC vice chancellor

Photography by Olivia Ross / Brent Goldberg, vice chancellor for finance and administration at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

The headline of this story was corrected to reflect that Brent Goldberg is a new vice chancellor for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. 

To look at Brent Goldberg's resume, one might think the guy has to be exhausted.

The Chattanooga native launched his career almost 20 years ago with posts at accounting firms in Nashville and the Washington, D.C. area. Since his return to Chattanooga in 2006, he's worked for another accounting firm, major trucking and logistics firms, the Public Education Foundation, the Hamilton County Department of Education and two city mayors -- Tim Kelly and his predecessor, Andy Berke.

But Goldberg, who took over Dec. 1 as vice chancellor for finance and administration at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, says he's in for the long haul at his alma mater.

"I want to retire from UTC," says Goldberg, who earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in accounting from the school. "All my experiences have prepared me to do as well as I possibly can in this position."

After three years in D.C. and Nashville, Goldberg and his wife, Courtney, decided it was time to return home to Chattanooga.

"One reason was that we saw the dynamic shift in downtown," he says. "...When I was growing up nobody went downtown after dark. It's just drastically different now -- the nightlife, the culture, local restaurants -- all those things that didn't exist before."

Goldberg says his professional moves in the last decade or so haven't been about trying to find "greener pastures."

"I've just answered the call from some great leaders," he says. "The public service bug bit me when I was working for Mayor Berke, and I haven't shaken it since. Public service at the local level is where the rubber meets the road."

Goldberg was serving as the chief financial officer for the City of Chattanooga when he was contacted about the prospect of going to UTC to succeed Vice Chancellor Tyler Forrest, who had left to take the presidency at Tennessee Wesleyan University.

"It was a perfect fit," he adds. "It was my chance to come home and serve the institution that made it possible for me to be the first in my family to graduate from college."

Goldberg says UTC is in "very good shape," but faces a constant challenge.

"UTC started a strategic planning process a couple of years ago, focusing on how we prioritize needs," he says. "We've been fortunate on (state) funding for capital projects, but we're always going to have operational constraints, so we have to be intentional about prioritizing resources."