University Of Tennessee Knoxville Fires Chancellor Beverly Davenport

University of Tennessee chancellor Beverly Davenport has been fired by Dr. Joe DiPietro after the controversial hiring of John Currie as athletic director and, pending his firing this past December, the hiring of Phillip Fulmer in the position.

What happened?

Sportstalk host Jimmy Hyams helped break the news on Twitter:

“BREAKING NEWS: Sources: UT chancellor Beverly Davenport has been fired by Dr. Joe DiPietro. She was hired Dec. 15, effective Feb. 15. She made the controversial hire of John Currie as athletic director, then fired him Dec. 1 and hired Phillip Fulmer as AD.”

As he continued the story on his official Twitter account, he added that Davenport was the first woman to lead the school and been hired by DiPietro in the first place.

“Davenport, 63, was the first woman to lead UT Knoxville. She was hired at DiPietro’s recommendation. She served as interim president at the University of Cincinnati before being hired by UT. Her base pay: $595,000 with additional compensation.”
“Davenport was hired Dec. 15, 2016, came on board Feb. 15, 2017.”

According to SEC Country, during the time the news came to light, the school has not yet confirmed Davenport’s dismissal from the school, adding that the nature or reason for any potential firing is unclear.
The Tennesseean later confirmed the news, even publishing the full text of Davenport’s termination letter, which was signed by President Joseph A. DiPietro himself:

“I have decided that it is in the best interest of The University of Tennessee to change the leadership of our flagship campus and terminate your appointment as Chancellor of The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.”

“Your performance evaluation for Calendar Year 2017, a copy of which is being provided to you under separate cover, describes numerous areas of unsatisfactory performance. In several areas, even after I raised concerns early in your tenure and addressed them multiple times since then, you have been either unwilling or unable to improve, including”

The letter added that, while terminated from her position of chancellor, she will stay at the school as a professor, with a significant pay-cut:

“Effective July 1, 2018, in accordance with the terms of your appointment letter dated December 6, 2016, your appointment will be converted from your current administrative appointment as Chancellor to your full-time faculty appointment as Professor, with tenure, in the School of Communication Studies. As approved by the Board of Trustees, your compensation as Professor will be $438,750.00 (which is 75% of your initial base salary as Chancellor of $585,000.00) for four years. Beginning with the fifth year, your compensation in your faculty appointment will be adjusted to the average base salary of full professors in the department. Effective immediately, and until June 30, 2018, you will be placed on administrative leave with pay.”

“Obviously, this is not where either of us hoped we would be when I hired you. Personally, I am disappointed that this action is necessary, but as President it is my duty to make decisions that are in the best interest of The University of Tennessee. I wish you the best as you return to the faculty.”

Who is Beverly Davenport?

As mentioned above, Davenport was the first woman chancellor for the University of Tennesee, Knoxville.
Before serving as the University of Tennessee chancellor, Davenport served as the 29th President at the University of Cincinnati. Beforehand, she served as the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost for three years.
Prior to this, she also served as Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs at Purdue University, a senior fellow at Virginia Tech, a divisional dean for the social sciences at the University of Kansas, and chair of the Department of Communication at the University of Kentucky.
As this story is developing more information will be updated as made available.

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