UPDATE: (WBIR) - UT Knoxville has named Tickle College of Engineering dean Wayne Davis as the interim chancellor.

According to UT President Joe DiPietro, Davis agreed to serve in the role for six to 12 months.

He takes office on Monday.

It comes less than a day after DiPietro announced Chancellor Beverly Davenport's demotion to a faculty member in the College of Communication and Information.

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."

Davis said the sudden change in the senior leadership position was unsettling.

“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," he said. "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.”

According to the university, Davis has served in faculty and administrative roles at UT for 44 years. From 1985 through 1988, he was the assistant dean of the Graduate School. He served as associate dean from 1988 through 1991.

Davis became interim dean of the Tickle College of Engineering in 2008 before assuming the role permanently in 2009.

In 2003, he was named University Macebearer which is UT Knoxville's highest faculty honor.


PREVIOUS STORY: KNOXVILLE (UT Media Relations)– 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.