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

Jan Simek (click for large version)Faculty, staff and students have spent this week saying goodbye and thanks to Jan Simek, whose term as interim chancellor of the Knoxville campus ends today.

Newly-appointed Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek starts work Monday.

Simek was named interim chancellor just over a year ago, filling the vacancy created by the resignation of Chancellor Loren Crabtree. Simek, who was Crabtree’s chief of staff, is a Distinguished Professor of Science in the Anthropology Department and formerly served as the Anthropology department head, interim director of the School of Art and interim dean of the College of Architecture and Design.

He will now begin a sabbatical to further his research. All this week, students, faculty and administrators have shared their gratitude for Simek’s leadership.

John Nolt, professor of Philosophy and president of the Faculty Senate, said Simek helped guide the campus through difficult times with budget cuts, but made positive steps by emphasizing energy conservation and sustainability and supporting shared governance.

Jan Simek at his desk (click for large version)“Though a short-timer, he has always taken the long view and encouraged us not to lose sight of it,” Nolt said of Simek. “Working with him has been a privilege, an education and a pleasure.”

Susan Martin, interim provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, said she and the campus will miss his leadership.

“Jan’s devotion to UT Knoxville, his commitment to our mission as a comprehensive research institution, his affection for our students and dedication to building an excellent faculty have served this university in an exemplary fashion during the last year,” Martin said. “We will miss him terribly, but are confident that we will move forward a better university because of his leadership.”