"As many of you know already, I have been offered an outstanding opportunity to become the chancellor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. This position offers me new challenges and responsibilities. I have not set a firm date for leaving, but I hope to start in Amherst on August 1.
"Accepting the chancellorship in Amherst means that I will be leaving Knoxville after a tenure of only two years, a relatively short period of time in the life of an institution. In that time, however, we’ve launched many initiatives, and have put in place plans that could pay great dividends for the faculty, the students, and the campus in general. I hope that others who have shared my vision will continue to improve this great campus and assist it in reaching its potential.
"I wish to thank the campus community for welcoming me into its midst. I found a very supportive atmosphere in Knoxville, and if I was able to accomplish anything, it was largely owing to the cooperation and enthusiasm of the wonderful individuals on the campus. The main goal of administration should always be to help faculty, staff and students succeed in their respective areas. I tried to act in this spirit in my time as Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
"The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is a remarkable institution with a great faculty and a dedicated staff. I have always said that the administration has to go a long way to reach the level that faculty and staff have already reached. Working together, faculty, staff and administration can turn Knoxville into one of the premier public institutions in the nation.
"Thank you again for your consistent and willing support."