5 things to know: Davenport's firing marks latest in a long line of departures for UT

Matt Lakin
University of Tennessee Chancellor Beverly Davenport speaks before the start of UT's Hike the Hill in Heels event on Monday, April 2, 2018.

The firing of University of Tennessee Chancellor Beverly Davenport on Wednesday after barely a year on the job marks UT's latest departure of a top administrator  – the sixth such since 2001.

Here's a rundown of other top brass at UT – three presidents and two chancellors – who've stepped down amid controversy in recent years.

J. Wade Gilley

University of Tennessee president Dr. J. Wade Gilley during an interview after starting his new job.

Gilley was president of Marshall University in Huntington, W. Va., when UT trustees chose him to replace retiring president Joe Johnson in May 1999. He took office that August with a $250,000 salary, plus perks and benefits.

Details:Read Beverly Davenport's scathing termination letter from the UT president

More:5 memorable Tennessee Vols athletics moments under Chancellor Beverly Davenport

Less than two years later, Gilley resigned without explanation on June 1, 2001. Emails obtained by the News Sentinel revealed an affair between Gilley and Pamela Reed, a UT administrator who resigned over embellishments in her resume. Gilley insisted he'd been simply a "mentor" to Reed.

John Shumaker

UT President Dr. John Shumaker.

Shumaker, president of the University of Louisville, took Gilley's place in March 2002. The search that hired him cost $150,000, and he signed on for a salary that added up with perks to a total of $735,000 - the second-highest of any public university president in the country at the time.

Within months, Shumaker came under fire for questionable no-bid contracts to acquaintances, personal use of UT's airplane, shelling out nearly a half-million dollars for renovations on the president's house, spending more than $81,000 on holiday parties and racking up another $32,000 in other dubious expenses. An audit found his explanations "untruthful."

"People will be mad," then-Gov. Phil Bredesen said at the time. "I'm mad about it."

More:Beverly Davenport shakeup has legislators concerned about UT's image

John Adams:After Davenport's firing, University of Tennessee should consider hiring its leaders by lottery

On Aug. 8, 2003, Bredesen announced Shumaker had resigned.

The ex-president blamed his troubles on a "slow news season" but said he didn't want to point fingers.

"I don't blame the media for the troubles," he told the Chronicle of Higher Education in October 2004. "I think to some degree I was responsible for that - less so than people think I am."

Loren Crabtree

University staff member Linda Painter says goodbye to former Chancellor Loren Crabtree during a reception in his honor at the University of Tennessee after Crabtree announced that he was stepping down as chancellor.

UT's next president, John Petersen, lasted a little longer - almost five years. But he and other administrators got off to a rocky start that never leveled out.

The dissenters included Loren Crabtree, chancellor of UT's Knoxville campus. He and Petersen clashed repeatedly over control of key functions such as the 200-acre Cherokee Farm on the waterfront across from Sequoyah Hills, oversight of athletics and upgrades to information technology systems.

In January 2008, Crabtree resigned.

"The president and I have concluded that our differences over governance of the Knoxville campus make it no longer productive for me to serve as chancellor," he said.

John Petersen

President John Petersen announces his resignation. The announcement came amid a five-year review of Petersen by the board of trustees, after more than seven months in which Petersen worked without a contract.

Petersen hung on a little longer. He left his job as provost at the University of Connecticut to take over as UT president July 1, 2004, at a base salary of $380,000.

He stood to gain a $250,000 bonus if he lasted five years. Spoiler: he didn't.

Petersen resigned Feb. 18, 2009, insisting the departure was "my choice." He'd been working for more than seven months without a contract amid increasing friction with trustees, faculty and administrators. Budget cuts loomed in the Legislature. His wife, Carol, had clashed with a key donor.

A five-year review on whether to keep him didn't look promising.

Jimmy Cheek

University of Tennessee Chancellor Jimmy Cheek listens as the media asks him a question at a party celebrating his return to teaching after eight years in the chancellor position in Neyland Stadium Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017.

Jimmy Cheek took the helm of UT Knoxville's campus in 2009. His time as chancellor - at a base salary of $447,492 - ended in a retirement announcement in June 2016 that came in the wake of repeated calls for his resignation over such controversies as the removal of the Lady Vols nickname, a Title IX federal lawsuit challenging UT's handling of sexual assault cases, and the Legislature's defunding of the campus Office for Diversity and Inclusion.

Cheek, who returned to the faculty, insisted he just wanted to spend more time with his family.