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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The final step in the hiring of the University of Tennessee’s new president was taken Friday.

The UT board of trustees executive committee approved a contract for Dr. J. Wade Gilley, who will become head of the statewide university system Aug. 1.

The full board elected Gilley, currently president of Marshall University in West Virginia, May 7.

The five-year contract sets Gilley’s annual salary at $250,000 with the provision for performance-based increases subject to approval by the board. The agreement calls for the university to provide Gilley housing and use of an automobile.

Bill Sansom, the board’s vice chairman who negotiated the contract with Gilley, said it is fair for both parties.

The board of trustees may renew his appointment as president for a period not to exceed five additional years. After five years, it also has the option of giving Gilley a post-presidential appointment at half his final salary as president.

Gilley will succeed Dr. Joe Johnson, who is retiring after 38 years at UT, the last nine as president.

Contact: John Clark (423-974-2225)