UT’s first woman chancellor will be UT’s highest-paid leader

For the first time in its history, the University of Tennessee has selected a woman to lead its flagship campus in Knoxville. Further, the News Sentinel reports Beverly Davenport, currently the interim president at the University of Cincinnati, also will become the highest-paid leader in the school’s history if her appointment is approved next month by the UT Board of Trustees.

Davenport signed an offer letter Monday, agreeing to a base salary of $585,000 annually, along with up to $95,000 in additional compensation in the first year. She also will be eligible for performance bonuses that could pay her as much as 15 percent of her salary, or $87,775, beginning July 1.

She will earn more than current Chancellor Jimmy Cheek, who announced his retirement over the summer and currently receives a salary of $454,000, plus $30,000 in housing and expenses. Davenport will report directly to UT President Joe DiPietro, who earns a base salary of $513,344 annually.

If approved, Davenport will become the school’s eighth chancellor on March 1. The trustees are set to vote at a special-called meeting Dec. 15 in Nashville.

She will start drawing a salary before that, however, earning $25,000 per month from UT in January and February to begin the transition into her new role.

…She beat out two other finalists, including Pamela Whitten, the provost at the University of Georgia, and Alexander Cartwright, provost of the State University of New York system.

Davenport has been interim president in Cincinnati since July after the sitting president left for the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. She had been provost at the university for three years when the Cincinnati board of trustees unanimously selected her to serve as the school’s temporary leader at a salary of $625,000.

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