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Meet the Legal Affairs Staff

Dannelle Whiteside

Dannelle F. W. Whiteside

Vice President for Legal Affairs and Organizational Strategy

Dannelle Walker Whiteside currently serves as Vice President for Legal Affairs. She joined Austin Peay State University in 2017 as general counsel and was promoted to vice president in the spring of 2019. During her career at Austin Peay, she has also served as Secretary to the Board of Trustees. In August 2020, she served as interim President for seven months, leading the institution through the COVID-19 pandemic. Her appointment by the APSU Board of Trustees made her the first Black president of the more than 90-year-old institution.

Prior to her time at APSU, Whiteside served as General Attorney for the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, General Counsel for the Tennessee State Board of Education, and District Policy Advisor for Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools.

She was recently named 2021 40 Under 40 winner by the Nashville Business Journal and was named to the 2020 class of the Millennium Leadership initiative (MLI), a premier leadership development program of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). In 2019, Whiteside was named to the inaugural cohort of the Tennessee Higher Education Leadership and Innovation Fellows program. That program is designed to develop the next generation of enterprise leaders in higher education, according to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC). Whiteside has also been named a Nashville Emerging Leader in the Education category by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, a Nation’s Best Advocate: 40 Lawyers Under 40, and a Nashville’s Top 30 Under 30. Whiteside received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, with honors and received her bachelor's degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, graduating Summa Cum Laude. She is admitted to practice law in the State of Tennessee.

Corey Harkey Corey Harkey

Associate General Counsel

Corey Harkey currently serves as Associate General Counsel for Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN where she leads the APSU Office of Legal Affairs and provides legal advice and services to administrators and other authorized members of the University community in representation of the University. She has worked extensively in the area of education law and policy.

Prior to joining APSU, Mrs. Harkey served as Assistant General Counsel at Tennessee State University where she focused primarily on intellectual property, property, policy development, student affairs issues, and discrimination law.  She also has ten years experience as a Metropolitan Attorney for the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County.  In her role with Metro Legal, she acted as primary legal counsel for the Metropolitan Board of Education and the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, advising the school board and MNPS on a variety of legal issues and litigation matters impacting the education system.

Mrs. Harkey is a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys and the Law Association of Women- Marion Griffin chapter in Nashville.

Mrs. Harkey received her undergraduate degree in International Relations from the College of Wooster, her master’s degree in Political Science from Ohio University, and was awarded her Jurist Doctorate from Cleveland Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University. Mrs. Harkey lives in Nashville with her husband and two children.


April Williams

Legal Secretary

April Williams has been employed at Austin Peay State University since 2010 and joined the Office of Legal Affairs in 2021. Prior to joining the Office of Legal Affairs, Williams served as the Academic Associate to the Dean in the College of Business at Austin Peay State University.

In 2024, Williams was awarded the Everyday Excellence Appreciate Award by the Office of Institutional Culture. She received the Carmen C. Reagan Outstanding Staff Leader award from the Austin Peay College of Business in 2017. Williams was named the Exemplary Staff Member of the Year by the Office of Student Life and Engagement at Austin Peay State University in 2015.

Williams earned her Master of Science in Management and Master of Arts in Communication Arts from Austin Peay State University. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Ball State University. Williams is a State of Tennessee Notary Public and a Certified Administrative Professional through the International Association of Administrative Professionals. She is a member of the American Management Association. Williams enjoys spending her free time with family and friends, reading, and volunteering in her community.