Fred Obear returns as interim UTC chancellor
Dr. Frederick Obear, retired chancellor of The University of Tennessee
at Chattanooga, will return to the position on an interim basis
UT President John Petersen said Obear, who was UTC’s chancellor
for 16 years before retiring in 1997, will serve until a successor
to Dr. Bill Stacy is appointed. Stacy will become headmaster of
Baylor School here in August. A search committee to recommend candidates
for Stacy’s successor will be named soon, Peterson said.
“I have learned very quickly that when their university needs
them, UT people are quick to respond,” Petersen said. “I’m
glad Dr. Obear was still in Chattanooga and available to answer
“We will do a thorough search for a new chancellor and move
it along as quickly as possible. I think the campus and the community
me in the feeling that with Fred Obear, UTC is in good hands.”
Obear was provost of Oakland University in Michigan when he was
named UTC chancellor in 1981. In his final two years in Chattanooga,
the campus’ performance funding rating was the highest of
any public university in the state.
During his tenure, undergraduate programs in physical therapy and
legal assistance were introduced, and graduate programs expanded
in English, nursing, business, public administration and environmental
Petersen identified Obear as a person who has “a tremendous
amount of experience and is enormously engaged in the University.”
Obear told faculty, staff, and students he looks at the appointment
as “an opportunity to work with President Petersen over the
next few months.” Obear added that he hopes to “maintain
the quality and direction of the institution over this time.” He
smiled when he told the group that Petersen promised him a speedy
search process for a new chancellor.
Since being named Chancellor Emeritus, Obear has continued to work
for UTC in fundraising and has served as a consultant to other
The Independent University Alumni Association at Lowell presented
Obear with the 2003 Distinguished Alumni Award in February, 2003.
The award was established in 1978 by the Alumni Association to
acknowledge significant contributions made by alumni of the University
Masssachusetts at Lowell.