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Cheek to Step Down as University of Tennessee, Knoxville Chancellor

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Photo by Adam Brimer

KNOXVILLE – University of Tennessee, Knoxville Chancellor Jimmy Cheek has decided to step down from his post and join the faculty, UT President Joe DiPietro announced today.

Cheek, who has served as Knoxville chancellor since February 2009, will remain in office until his successor is found. A search is expected to begin immediately after the Board of Trustees annual meeting, which takes place on Wednesday and Thursday. DiPietro said he hopes to have a candidate to recommend to the Board at its Spring 2017 meeting.

“Leading a campus with thousands of employees, students and stakeholders is a demanding role that comes with numerous challenges, but it also has many rewards,” DiPietro said. “Chancellor Cheek has served us well, and I am grateful for the energy and vision he has brought to the University of Tennessee and our Knoxville campus.”

As chancellor, Cheek led UT Knoxville to attract some of the world’s leading researchers, faculty and staff who are experts in their fields, DiPietro noted. Cheek also raised the UT Knoxville’s status as one of the country’s most prolific research institutions by maintaining its strong relationship with Oak Ridge National Laboratory through exponential growth in joint appointments and shared programs, DiPietro added.

“On Chancellor Cheek’s watch, UT Knoxville also has moved forward with record fundraising success and an unprecedented $1 billion in new construction and building renovation, including a new student union, a redeveloped residence hall village and a number of new classrooms and laboratories,” DiPietro said.

“With an innate understanding as a first-generation college student, himself, Chancellor Cheek worked to broaden diversity and student access to the University. His work led to his participation in the White House Summit on increasing college opportunities for low-income students.”

The University of Tennessee is a statewide system of higher education with campuses in Knoxville, Chattanooga, Martin and Memphis; the UT Space Institute in Tullahoma; the UT Institute of Agriculture with a presence in every Tennessee county; and the statewide Institute for Public Service. The UT system manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory through its UT-Battelle partnership; enrolls about 50,000 students statewide; produces about 10,000 new graduates every year; and represents more than 360,000 alumni around the world.


Gina Stafford
823 Andy Holt Tower, 1331 Circle Park, Knoxville, TN 37996

Jennifer Sicking
P-265 Andy Holt Tower, 1331 Circle Park, Knoxville, TN 37996

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Category: Headlines