In an update to the firing of University of Tennessee chancellor Beverly Davenport, who will be forced out July 1, the school has announced that Wayne Davis has been named as its interim chancellor. After he will take office this upcoming Monday, Davis is expected to serve in his new position for six to 12 months. Currently the dean of the Tickle College of Engineering, he already worked at the school for 44 years.
According to NBC 4-WSMV, UT President Joe DiPietro announced the following statement explaining why he thought Davis would be a good fit in the position:
“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.”
Davis himself also issued the following statement about his new position:
“It is always unsettling when there is a sudden change in a senior leadership position within the university, and this situation is no exception. 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.”
Who is Wayne Davis?
According to his official biography on the school’s official website, Davis was named Dean of the Tickle College of Engineering in March 2009; he previously served as the interim dean since May 2008. For his education, he earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from Pfeiffer College, now Pfeiffer University, in North Carolina; he later earned his master’s in environmental engineering and Ph.D. in civil engineering from UT Knoxville.
Furthering his career, Daviss first served as an instructor of environmental engineering in 1974 for the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering and became an assistant professor in 1975, being named an associate professor in 1979 and a full professor by 1984.
Davis has notably earned many honors and affiliations over the years. In 1990, he warned the Lyman A. Ripperton Award from the Air and Waste Management Association. In 1994, he earned the Chancellor’s Award for Research, as well as the Chancellor’s Macebearer Award in 2002. Most recently, he earned the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Institute of Professional Environmental Practice in 2007.