Updates and Information on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Skip to main content

KNOXVILLE–The president of the University of Tennessee, Dr. J. Wade Gilley, resigned Friday, citing personal and health reasons.

The executive committee of the university’s board of trustees immediately named Emerson Fly, executive vice president, to serve as acting president until a permanent replacement is named. Fly celebrated his 40th anniversary as an UT employee on Friday.

In a letter to Johnnie Amonette, vice chairwoman of the board of trustees, Gilley said several medical conditions made it necessary to resign.

“After reflection over the past several weeks I would like to step down as President of the University of Tennessee effective immediately, for personal reasons, including my health,” his letter says.

Gilley became UT’s 20th president in August 1999.

Fly earned an accounting degree from UT in 1961 and rose through the ranks to become executive vice president in 1991.

Amonette said the board will discuss the selection process for a new president later.