Campus News Archives

Bob Smith named UT Martin chancellor emeritus


Contact 1: Erin Chesnut


MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees officially named Dr. Bob Smith chancellor emeritus of the University of Tennessee at Martin during its March 29 meeting in Chattanooga. Smith, formerly considered an interim chancellor, is now officially listed as the 10th chancellor of UT Martin. Dr. Keith Carver, originally named the university’s 10th chancellor, is now the 11th to hold that title.

“This is an appropriate way to recognize Dr. Smith for his tenure as interim chancellor. His commitment to enrollment, philanthropy and SACS accreditation were invaluable in helping UT Martin continue to educate and serve the citizens of West Tennessee,” said Carver. “We owe him a debt of gratitude for his leadership, and I am grateful for the counsel and guidance he has given me during this transition.”

Smith took over the UT Martin chancellor’s office after Dr. Tom Rakes returned to the faculty in June 2015. During his 19-month tenure, Smith guided the university through a yearlong accreditation probation period from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

He also saw the completion of the new academic building and press box space adjacent to Hardy Graham Stadium; helped secure the single-largest financial gift in university history to build the Latimer Engineering and Science Building on the UT Martin main campus; and spearheaded a campaign to fund a new Innovation and Product Realization Facility where local industry leaders could partner with UT Martin students and faculty to develop new products and ideas. Smith also approved the official start of renovations on the former Methodist Fayette Hospital, the future home of the UT Martin Somerville Center.

“We have definitely benefited from (Smith’s) gifted leadership, and during his tenure many things changed at UT Martin. We wish Bob and (his wife) Ramona well, and we want to thank them for all they’ve done to improve (the university). … We owe them a thanks we can never, ever truly repay,” said UT President Joe DiPietro during UT Martin’s fall 2016 commencement exercises Dec. 10.

Smith ended his tenure as UT Martin interim chancellor Jan. 2, 2017, and Carver began his duties Jan. 3.

For more information, contact the UT Martin Office of University Relations at 731-881-715.


PHOTO ID: University of Tennessee System President Joe DiPietro (left) presents Dr. Bob Smith, UT Martin chancellor emeritus, with a resolution from the UT Board of Trustees officially bestowing him with that title during the board’s quarterly meeting March 29.

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