It’s been a confusing time for some Tennessee fans following the search for a new Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics.
Dave Hart, who is currently in the position, announced that he would be stepping down on Aug. 18, but that’s not officially effective until June 30, 2017. That’s led to a transitional time for Tennessee with Hart still in power, but also in lame-duck status.
Some reports have surfaced that Tennessee, despite Hart being under contract into the summer, is close to hiring a new AD anyhow, whether that be former football coach Phillip Fulmer, Chattanooga AD David Blackburn or a myriad of other names that have been thrown around. Others have said that Tennessee, which just confirmed Beverly Davenport as the new Chancellor in December, will wait until closer to Hart’s official departure to officially name his successor.
Tennessee released a statement that was read on the radio show Vol Calls on Wednesday in an effort to try and clear some of the confusion (H/T KNS for the transcription):
“Dr. Davenport arrives on Feb. 15 to begin serving as UT Knoxville’s chancellor. She has said that filling the AD position is one of her top priorities. The athletic director serves as a member of the chancellor’s cabinet. Dr. Davenport has emphasized the importance of finding the best person for this key role. The university is in the midst of a procurement process to hire a search firm to assist with the search. Once that process concludes, UT will release information about the firm that is selected. At that time, the campus will also announce the members of the search committee and provide a tentative schedule for the search process.
“We hope to announce these details soon. From there the search committee and the firm will begin working together to begin the national search. Dave Hart continues to serve as the Athletic Director for the UT Knoxville campus. His retirement date is June 30, 2017.”