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UT Institute of Agriculture’s Tim Cross Announces Plans for Retirement

University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture Senior Vice President/Senior Vice Chancellor Tim Cross announced today that he plans to retire effective August 31.

“The UT Institute of Agriculture plays a critical role in supporting every county in Tennessee, and Tim has done a brilliant job creating the foundation for the greatest decade in the history of UTIA,” said UT President Randy Boyd.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the Institute of Agriculture with such strong support from President Boyd and Chancellor Plowman,” said Cross. “With our presence on campus and in every county of the state, our dedicated faculty and staff, our talented students, and an exceptional leadership team, I’m confident that the Institute is poised for continued growth and success while carrying out the land-grant university mission and delivering Real Life Solutions.”

Cross has been with the UT Institute of Agriculture for 27 years, leading UTIA since 2016. Prior to that, he served as dean of UT Extension from 2008 to 2016 and assistant dean from 2001 to 2006. Cross began with UTIA in 1994 as an associate professor, then professor, of agricultural economics. Before coming to UT, Cross spent 11 years at Oregon State University as assistant professor and instructor of agricultural and resources economics. He also served as an instructor in the department of agriculture at Fort Hays State University in Kansas.

“Tim understands the importance of bringing the resources of the University of Tennessee’s land-grant institution to the people of Tennessee,” said UT Knoxville Chancellor Donde Plowman. “We thank him for his service, and will continue to build on the many successes UTIA has experienced under Tim’s leadership.”

UTIA includes the Herbert College of Agriculture, the College of Veterinary Medicine, UT AgResearch, and UT Extension, which brings UT expertise and service to each of Tennessee’s 95 counties.

Under Cross’ leadership, UTIA has achieved great success:

  • Grant awards increased from $62 million in 2015 to $72 million in 2020;
  • Fundraising exceeded the “Together We Grow” capital campaign goal of $175 million for UTIA, topping $200 million in 2021;
  • Eleven faculty in UTIA have received awards from national or international associations, including being named fellows and distinguished leaders in their fields of study since 2017;
  • Faculty and student engagement abroad has also increased significantly through the Smith International Center;
  • UTIA established the Herbert College of Agriculture in 2018, the third named college at UT Knoxville and the second College of Agriculture in the United States named for a philanthropic gift;
  • In 2020, UTIA had 3.5 million educational outreach contacts in 2020 and more than 19 million digital contacts, and the Veterinary Medical Center treated 34,000 animal patients, and remained in operation throughout the pandemic; and
  • Through a collaborative effort among faculty and staff from UT Knoxville and UTIA, the university was named one of three Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities by the APLU in 2020. This designation acknowledges the exceptional ways UT cultivates community engagement, economic growth and workforce development across the state.

The university will name an interim senior vice president/senior vice chancellor in the coming months and launch a nationwide search for a permanent replacement this fall.

The University of Tennessee is a statewide system of higher education with campuses in Knoxville, Chattanooga, Martin and Memphis; the UT Space Institute in Tullahoma; the UT Institute of Agriculture with a presence in every Tennessee county; and the statewide Institute for Public Service. The UT system manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory through its UT-Battelle partnership; enrolls about 50,000 students statewide; produces about 11,000 new graduates every year; and represents more than 400,000 alumni around the world.

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