UT Knoxville's Student Government Association executive cabinet is backing Dr. Beverly Davenport after the university announced Wednesday that she is being demoted from her role as Chancellor.
A statement released Thursday said the news came as a shock to the cabinet. It continues by addressing many of Davenport's accomplishments and interactions with the SGA.
University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro dismissed Chancellor Beverly Davenport on Wednesday in a stinging letter that criticized her communications skills, her leadership, her inability to work with others, her lack of organization, her inability to build trust with him and her inability to take direction.
"As students and stakeholders in UTK, we are saddened and angered by this decision and the events that led up to it. Judging by the outpouring of support from students, faculty, and staff for Dr. Davenport, it could not be more clear that our campus was proud of the work that she was doing and excited to see what the future held," the SGA statement said.
The statement ends by stating the Student Government Association will never stay silent on issues that impact students.
Read the full letter below:
Yesterday, the President of the University of Tennessee system, Joe DiPietro, announced the termination of Dr. Beverly Davenport as the Chancellor of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
This comes as a shock to all of us. Since her appointment in February of last year as our first female Chancellor, Dr. Davenport brought unity, knowledge, and strength to our campus, embodying the best qualities of this university. She has been an advocate and champion for women, campus workers, faculty, and marginalized students.
Even though she is no longer Chancellor, the impact Dr. Davenport has had on our campus is irrevocable. Through the Chancellor's Transformational Fund which provides microgrants for students in need, the establishment of the Title IX Office, and her investment in countless other student life initiatives, Dr. Davenport has given so much of her time, money, and heart to supporting students and our institution.
As students and stakeholders in UTK, we are saddened and angered by this decision and the events that led up to it. Judging by the outpouring of support from students, faculty, and staff for Dr. Davenport, it could not be more clear that our campus was proud of the work that she was doing and excited to see what the future held.
During her year as Chancellor, Dr. Davenport consistently sought to further connect with students and serve our needs. When she spoke to the Undergraduate Student Senate, she did not come to lecture, but to listen. We remember long and challenging conversations with her. Through this genuine and intentional collaboration with students, we saw the shaping of Dr. Davenport's legacy as it stands today. She led the charge for an institution that values and respects all.
Regardless of what the future holds, as the Student Government Association, we promise to never stay silent on issues that impact students. We promise to amplify student voices, ensuring that students not only have a seat at the table, but a resounding voice, backed by action. This is our pledge to you. We stand with Dr. Davenport.
– The SGA Executive Cabinet