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MEMPHIS – Dr. James Gibb Johnson has been named interim chancellor and vice president of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, UT President John W. Shumaker announced Friday.

Johnson, a 1963 graduate of the UT College of Medicine, will serve until a successor to William R.

Dr. James Gibb Johnson

Rice is named, Shumaker said. Johnson’s first faculty appointment at UT in Memphis came in 1966 when he became an instructor in medicine.

Rice announced in September he will step down Oct. 31 to lead a coordinating counsel of Memphis hospitals. A search committee, led by UT Veterinary Medicine Dean Michael Blackwell, will identify candidates to succeed Rice. Committee members will be named soon.

“The health science center will be in very capable hands while we search for a new vice president,” Shumaker said. “Dr. Johnson knows this campus better than anyone except perhaps Bill Rice.

“I’m delighted he answered the call to step into this job, and the university community and I wish Bill the best in his new role.”

Johnson, a Knoxville native and graduate of UT in Knoxville, has served in several administrative positions since his appointment as a full professor of medicine in 1975. Those include associate dean of graduate medical education, executive associate dean of medicine, associate vice chancellor of health affairs, and vice chancellor of health affairs, his current appointment.

He has had active staff appointments at William F. Bowld Hospital and the Regional Medical Center at Memphis since 1969 and has had consulting appointments at seven Memphis-area hospitals.

Johnson is a recipient of the UT National Alumni Association Public Service Award and the College of Medicine Outstanding Alumnus Award.