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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Dr. Fred Obear, chancellor of the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga since 1981, announced Tuesday his plans to retire from the post next summer.

Obear, 61, said he will continue to serve as chancellor until his successor is appointed. The target date, he said, is July 1, 1997.

“(Fred) has done a remarkably fine job as chancellor,” UT President Joe Johnson said. “I wish he would stay on, but he has some other things he wants to do at UTC, and I support him.”

Obear said he will take a leave of absence from UTC to work on projects for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities in Washington, D.C., for six months to a year.

“I expect to return to UTC in a part-time teaching and part-time administrative role,” Obear said.

Obear said his goals for UTC have been that it grow each year in quality and responsiveness.

“History will judge our accomplishments against those criteria,” he told the Faculty Senate. “My personal goals have been to function in all situations with the highest integrity, to be fair in exercising judgment, and to ensure that the best interests of the university dictate the basis for action.”

Obear thanked the faculty for its confidence and cooperation and said he looks forward to a new role at UTC.

Johnson said he will move quickly to appoint a search committee composed of faculty, students and community leaders.

Contact: Dr. Fred Obear (423-755-4141)