Jimmy Cheek resigns as chancellor of UT Knoxville

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Jimmy Cheek, the chancellor of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, is resigning to rejoin the faculty.

In a Tuesday announcement, the university praised Cheek for increased diversity at the school, record fundraising and $1 billion in new construction and renovation.

Cheek has also faced numerous challenges during his tenure. They include a lawsuit over the university’s handling of sexual assault complaints and lawmaker anger that led to the defunding of the UT Office of Diversity last month.

Lawmakers had opposed the Office of Diversity’s recommendations to use gender-neutral pronouns for transgender students and to avoid religious-themed holiday parties. They also opposed an annual student-run “Sex Week” event on campus.

Cheek said at a news conference his resignation was a personal decision that had nothing to do with those issues.