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KNOXVILLE – The former dean of the University of Tennessee business school has withdrawn his name as a candidate for the position of UT president.

Tennessee Finance commissioner Warren Neel faxed a letter to the UT Presidential Search Committee, taking his name out of consideration for the job.

The chair of the presidential search advisory committee says she was disappointed.

“We hate to see anyone withdraw,” said Dr. Carolyn Hodges, who also heads UT’s Modern Foreign Languages department. “But we have four other candidates that we have to go on with. I know people have to make decisions other than what they originally intended, and we understand that.”

Hodges says the advisory committee is not likely to replace Neel’s name with that of someone else.

The other public finalists are:

-Dr. Guy Bailey, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, University of Texas at San Antonio.
-Dr. Stephen Lehmkuhle, vice president for academic affairs, University of Missouri System at Columbia.
-Dr. Stanley R. Liberty, provost and vice president for academic affairs, Bradley University at Peoria, Illinois.
Dr. Marlene I. Strathe, vice president for academic affairs and provost, University of Northern Colorado at Greeley.

Consultant Bill Funk was hired to provide a list of candidates for the position, and Hodges says he has a list of 20 candidates who wish to remain anonymous at this point of the search process.

“He’s going to have some names which he, I and Johnnie Amonette, the vice-chair of the search committee, will put together and narrow the list of finalists to be interviewed by the search committee,” Hodges said.

The candidates will each have a 90-minute interview session this coming Friday in Nashville.