published Tuesday, June 21st, 2011, updated June 22nd, 2011 at 1:23 a.m.

Tennessee Temple University president resigns

Dr. Danny Lovett
Dr. Danny Lovett
Photo by Angela Lewis /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
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TTU Announcement
TTU Announcement

Tennessee Temple University President Danny Lovett has resigned, according to school officials.

On June 16, the board of trustees of Tennessee Temple accepted the Lovett’s resignation and appointed Dr. Jim O’Neill as interim president. The changes will be effective July 1.

After discussing a number of issues and concerns, the board decided to accept Lovett’s request to implement the executive transition plan that he had been discussing for a number of months.

The board expressed its appreciation for Lovett’s six years of service as president.

John Borek, chairman of the board, could not be reached for further comment Tuesday. Board member Jim Hammond, also Hamilton County’s sheriff, when reached by phone, said he couldn’t comment because he was not the chairman.

Lovett, also a pastor at Highland Park Baptist Church, became the school’s seventh president in 2005.

The reasons for his departure remain unclear, but just last year the school issued a news release that said enrollment was up under Lovett’s leadership.

“Enrollment is up in the now 4-year-old online learning program, a campus redevelopment project is on the horizon, the university now receives HOPE scholarships as an accredited institution and the school is consistently operating in the black,” the release said.

Prior to his role as president of Temple, Lovett was the former dean and vice president at Liberty University. He was also the pastor at Open Door Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa, Ala., where he increased its membership from 40 to more than 1,200 and broadened its influence in the community through a television ministry, according to Tennessee Temple.

He is a graduate of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and was appointed as dean of the seminary until he came to Chattanooga, according to the Highland Baptist Church website.

According to the church’s website, Lovett’s vision for Tennessee Temple was for it to become a “training center for the next generation of preachers, missionaries, business people and Christian educators all over the world.”

Contact Perla Trevizo at ptrevizo@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6578. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/Perla_Trevizo.

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