Profile photo of Dr. Fran Bender
Dr. Fran Bender
Assistant Provost for Student Retention and Success
Academic Affairs

Dr. Bender was a UTC Mildred Routt Distinguished Teaching Professor. She was a member of the university faculty for more than 35 years. 

Dr. Bender was a member of the English Department since 1981 after a stint as head of the Department of Human Services Management.

She served the university on a number of administrative committees including, chairing the Academic Standards Committee, the Instructional Excellence Committee. the Commencement Committee, the Faculty Administrative Relations Committee, and the Faculty Research Committee. She was the First Vice-President of the UTC Faculty Council, and she served as secretary of the Faculty Council.

She was active in community service through chairing the A Tale for One City Committee, the Education Committee of St. Nicholas School Board of Trustees, and she served as a member of the UTC Wesley Center's board of trustrees. She was also the Vice-President for the Tennessee Council of Teachers of English (TCTE) for the Chattanooga area and sats on the TCTE Executive Committee.

Dr. Bender served as a reading consultant for the state of Tennesseee's Reading First Program. She conducted frequent workshops and consultation sessions for elementary and high school teachers.

Bender's research interests included literacy and the role of children's and young adult literature in schools. She worked with English Department's Verbie Prevost on a study of children's literature related to the U.S. Civil War.

She had twice led study-abroad courses to the United Kingdom to study the young adult literature of England and Scotland. The most recent trip was in June of 2008 during which her students studied the works and lives of Beatrix Potter,  J.K.Rowling, and Robert Louis Stevenson among other authors.

In July, 2008, Dr. Bender was named the Assistant Provost for Student Retention and Success. Her duties included developing and implementing strategies to help students stay in school until the awarding of the bachelor's degree.