Davenport out as UT-Knoxville chancellor

Beverly Davenport, the first female chancellor of the University of Tennessee flagship campus in Knoxville, is being demoted. The UT system announced Wednesday that Davenport will become a faculty member in the College of Communication and Information on July 1.

Davenport had been criticized by some for her handling of UT’s botched football coaching search, her rejection of Gov. Bill Haslam’s outsourcing initiatives, and (especially among lawmakers) for the ongoing student-led Sex Week activities on campus.

The move was announced by UT President Joe DiPietro, who is nearing retirement, and follows the passage of Haslam legislation to slash the number of voting members on the system’s board from 27 to 11.

Here’s the full release from UT:

KNOXVILLE – Beverly Davenport’s appointment as University of Tennessee, Knoxville chancellor will end July 1 and she will become a member of the faculty in the College of Communication and Information, UT President Joe DiPietro announced today.
“It is my responsibility as UT president to ensure the success of every campus, beginning with the leadership of every campus. A great deal is at stake in these hires, particularly given the importance of the flagship campus both to fulfilling the UT system mission and to that mission’s impact on the lives of all Tennesseans. Upon realizing that UT Knoxville needed a change from Dr. Davenport’s leadership, I decided to take action to address the leadership need,” DiPietro said.
“Dr. Davenport and I have had several conversations during her tenure as chancellor to lay out expectations, and discuss concerns. Unfortunately, issues arose that have progressed and, while I am disappointed to have to make this change, it is necessary and in the best interests of the University.”
An interim chancellor will be named soon.

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