Every year, just as students graduate and move on from UT, key figures in the school’s faculty and administration decide to retire and continue on to the next stages of their lives.
Many of these members have dedicated years of service to the university and are held in high-regard by their peers and students.
Here are some UT administrators, faculty and staff members who have recently retired or plan to retire sometime in the near future, leaving behind a legacy to be proud of.
Masood Parang, Tickle College of Engineering associate dean
The Tickle College of Engineering will say goodbye to a member of 41 years as Associate Dean of Academics and student affairs Masood Parang retires this year.
Parang has served in the role since 2004, and first joined UT in 1977 from the University of Oklahoma. Along with his work as associate dean, he has also engaged in research involving multiple fields, including aeronautical research and fluid dynamics.
“Masood has served this college admirably, both as a faculty member in his department and as an administrator,” Mark Dean, interim dean, told UT News. “Without Masood’s leadership, experience, collaboration skills, and passion for the students, the college would not be where it is today.
“We thank him for his service and hope he enjoys his well-earned retirement.”
Peter Gross, former School of Journalism and Electronic Media
Gross retired in January after years of service to UT’s journalism school.
He last worked as a professor, but served as the director of the school from 2006 to 2016. Before he started with UT, he traveled across the world, teaching about journalism.
“I thank Peter for all of the contributions he made to the School of Journalism and Electronic Media during his time as school director,” current Director of the School of Journalism and Electronic Media Catherine Luther said. “His international connections were especially helpful in setting up new exchange agreements with academic institutions in Europe.
“Although he has retired, I am sure he will continue to generate valuable research and have an impact on our understanding of global media and politics.”
Wayne Davis, Interim Chancellor
With UT recently announcing the hiring of Donde Plowman as the school's new chancellor, Interim Chancellor Wayne Davis will soon see his tenure heading UT come to an end.
And it will be a well-deserved retirement for Davis, who had announced his retirement as dean of the Tickle College of Engineering before signing on to lead UT after the dismissal of former chancellor Beverly Davenport.
Whenever Davis does leave UT for the final time, he will be able to look back on a UT career that has spanned over 40 years, working at a university that he not-so-quietly loves.
“I want you all to enjoy your time here on Rocky Top,” Davis said in a letter to students during the fall semester. “I want you to fully experience what this special place has to offer so that when the time comes for you to graduate, you will leave here with strong friendships, a love of learning, and the skills and education to succeed wherever you go next.”
Jeff Chapman, Director of the McClung Museum
If you are walking on campus and come face-to-face with a dinosaur statue, you have found the McClung Museum.
The museum has been on UT’s campus since 1963, providing multiple artifacts and knowledge for students and visitors to engage themselves with, and Jeff Chapman has led it for 29 years.
He was given the 2018 Chancellor’s Extraordinary Service to the University award for his contributions to the museum and to UT.
“Jeff (Chapman) has transformed the McClung Museum into a space for engagement and learning for the entire campus community,” Interim Chancellor Wayne Davis told UT News. “The university is very appreciative of his commitment throughout the years and will continue to build upon the solid foundation he set.”