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MARTIN, Tenn. — Dr. Philip W. Conn announced Monday that he is stepping down as chancellor of the University of Tennessee-Martin.

In an open meeting with Martin faculty, staff and students, he said he has asked UT President J. Wade Gilley for another assignment in the university system.

On Oct. 1, Conn will become UT vice president for special programs, working out of Knoxville, Gilley said.

Dr. Nick Dunagan, executive vice chancellor and vice chancellor for student affairs, who has twice served as acting chancellor of UTM, will again serve as interim chancellor. A search advisory committee to help identify candidates for the campus- top administrative job will be appointed, Gilley said.

Conn has been chancellor of UTM since July 1998.

“Chancellor Phil Conn has put UT-Martin first in his thinking and, to avoid further strife on campus and in the broader community, has requested to be reassigned within the University of Tennessee System,” Gilley said.

Conn said Monday Dr. Christopher I. Chalokwu, vice chancellor of academic affairs, will become vice chancellor of institutional research on Oct. 1

Gilley told the Martin faculty and staff that Dr. Jack Britt, vice president of agriculture, will review proposed changes in the Agricultural Experiment Station-s relationship with UTM. Britt will report to the UT Board of Trustees in October.

Dunagan will appoint a committee of faculty and students to review how the campus could best use 200 acres of land that might be reallocated from the Institute of Agriculture, Gilley said.

The UT-Martin Liaison Committee, with help from faculty, students and staff, will review the campus’ mission statement and submit recommended changes to it to Gilley by January 2001.

Also, senior members of the UT system administrative staff will spend more time in Martin until a new permanent chancellor is named, he said.

Gilley praised Conn for reversing the decline in enrollment, for launching a summer orientation and registration program, and for creating programs that encourage students to remain on campus during the weekend.

Conn came to UT-Martin from the presidency of Dickinson University in North Dakota. A Cleveland, Tenn., native, he earned the bachelor of arts degree in biology from Berea College and the master of arts in sociology from UT in Knoxville. He also holds master’s and doctoral degrees in public administration from the University of Southern California.

Dunagan, who joined the UTM staff in 1973, earned the bachelor of science at UTM, a law degree from the University of Missouri and the doctorate in education from Vanderbilt University.