Wayne Davis Named Interim Chancellor of UT Knoxville

The University of Tennessee has named an Interim Chancellor to replace Beverly Davenport.


Wayne Davis has served in faculty and administrative roles at UT for 44 years. Most recently Davis has been the Dean of the Tickle College of Engineering since 2008. Davis has agreed to serve in the role for 6 to 12 months, and takes office Monday.


UT President Joe DiPietro made the announcement Thursday. “Wayne Davis is a proven and respected University leader who has served the flagship campus in numerous capacities for more than four decades. As its dean, he has presided over a thriving Tickle College of Engineering, growing in enrollment, research productivity and achieving new heights of national recognition,” DiPietro said.  “I greatly appreciate Wayne and his wife, Sylvia, postponing retirement to continue serving their alma mater during this critical time.”


President DiPietro announced Wednesday Chancellor Beverly Davenport was being removed as Chancellor. He cited “unsatisfactory performance” in a termination letter. Davenport had served in the position since February of 2017. She hired, and later fired, former Athletics Director John Currie during a botched coaching search. Davenport will be taking on a new role in the College of Communication and Information.


“It is always unsettling when there is a sudden change in a senior leadership position within the university, and this situation is no exception,” Davis said. “The University of Tennessee holds a special place in my heart. As an alum, a faculty member and an administrator, I have been committed to this great University and its journey toward excellence for more than 45 years. I am deeply honored to be asked to serve in this interim role as the university identifies the next steps toward its search for a new chancellor.”


Davis was assistant dean of the Graduate School from 1985 through 1988 and as its associate dean from 1988 through 1991. He became interim dean of the Tickle College of Engineering in 2008 before assuming the role permanently in 2009.


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