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University of Tennessee approves agreement with former chancellor

Staff Reports • Jun 5, 2018 at 6:05 PM

The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees Audit and Compliance Committee approved Tuesday a separation agreement and payment of $1.33 million to former University of Tennessee Chancellor Beverly Davenport.

 By the agreement, Davenport’s employment with the university ended Tuesday.  No taxpayer dollars, no student tuition or fees and no donor funds will be used to fund the separation payment. The separation payment comes from interest income and licensing revenue.

The payment is a significant reduction of the amount the university was previously contractually obligated to pay Davenport if she continued her employment in her tenured faculty position. Davenport’s appointment letter allowed her to return to the faculty in a tenured appointment for an indefinite period of time after serving as chancellor.

The university was otherwise obligated to pay her about $2 million in salary and benefits during the first four years of her faculty appointment. Beginning in the fifth year of her faculty appointment, the university was otherwise obligated to pay her $164,632 annually in salary and benefits. 

In December, the board approved a policy that limits future return to the faculty salaries to not more than 125 percent of the highest salary of full-time faculty in the department with the same discipline and rank, excluding governor’s chairs and other special appointments.

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