KNOXVILLE – University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture Chancellor Larry Arrington has decided to retire in September, UT President Joe DiPietro announced today.
Arrington, UTIA chancellor since 2011, will retire and leave office effective Sept. 1. DiPietro has selected UT Extension Dean Tim Cross to serve as interim chancellor until Arrington’s successor is found. A search is to begin immediately.
DiPietro said he hopes to have a candidate to recommend to the UT Board of Trustees by January 2017 and to have the new chancellor in place during the first quarter of 2017.
UTIA, with its presence in every Tennessee county through UT Extension, is among the most visible of the UT system’s multiple enterprises and makes the largest contribution among those enterprises to fulfilling the University’s mission to conduct outreach to all Tennesseans.
In addition to UT Extension, UTIA also includes UT AgResearch, the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, and the College of Veterinary Medicine.
“Chancellor Arrington has been a skilled leader who understands and has very effectively guided the Institute of Agriculture in its service to an extremely large and wide-ranging group of stakeholders and clients,” DiPietro said. “He has facilitated its great success in delivering real-life solutions to people across the state every day.
“He further understands the great pride and attachment Tennesseans feel toward the Institute of Agriculture, and he has done an excellent job of connecting with those it serves and with elected officials who also understand its importance to their constituents.”
An example of Arrington’s success in establishing or growing relationships vital to the institute’s success, DiPietro said, is a statewide advisory group of agriculture advocates and stakeholders Arrington developed that has further enhanced effective advocacy with policymakers and provided UTIA with invaluable feedback.
Also during Arrington’s time as chancellor, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine completed a $20.9 million – almost half of that funded by the state – renovation of animal hospital facilities required to maintain full accreditation by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Education.
Enrollment in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources has grown 40 percent in the last five years, with increasingly well-qualified incoming freshmen who make up growing numbers of honors and high-achieving students.
Legislative appropriations achieved in 2015 enabled the University to acquire Lone Oaks Farm, a 1,200-acre site in Hardeman County for a 4-H camp to serve West Tennessee and a conference and event center available for rental and use by the public.
UTIA conducts more than $54 million in research, offers educational outreach to more than 3 million Tennesseans, and provides veterinary services to more than 21,000 animals annually.
“I know, from experience, being chancellor of the UT Institute of Agriculture is one of the best and most-rewarding leadership positions within the University,” said DiPietro, who led the institute from 2006 until becoming UT president in 2011.
“Our institute of agriculture has been in smart, capable hands with Chancellor Arrington, and we will have no lack of talented candidates to succeed him,” DiPietro said. “Further, the institute will be in great hands with Tim Cross as interim chancellor, and our priority going forward will be to ensure the next chancellor has the capabilities to maintain the tremendous momentum in place now.”
A national search will be conducted to fill the position, with UT human resources coordinating the process, which will involve a search committee of internal and external stakeholder representatives.
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.
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