Impeccable sources tell me UA Chancellor John White is preparing to announce his retirement today, effective at the end of this fiscal year June 30.

UPDATE: The announcement has been made. The full news release is on the jump. He plans to continue in a faculty position after he steps down as the Fayetteville campus’ chief administrator. UA President B. Alan Sugg said he hoped to have a new chancellor in place immediately after White’s retirement.

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UPDATE II: I’ve posted on our website a brief Q&A I was able to have with White by telephone.

His departure won’t be mourned in some circles high and low. His handling of recent athletic events, including the buyout of football coach Houston Nutt’s contract, brought matters to a head. I don’t know if White had any golden handcuffs to be dealt with, though I’m told he has been accruing value in a university retirement annuity. His departure will be formally ratified at a UA Board of Trustees meeting Jan. 25.

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White, 68, is in his 11th year as chancellor. His tenure has seen a major increase in private financial support, increasing enrollment and higher admission standards for the student body. But that has been overshadowed in recent years by athletic controversy — the firing of basketball coach Nolan Richardson, the forced retirement of Athletic Director Frank Broyles, the firing and rocky replacement of basketball coach Stan Heath and, most recently, Nutt’s departure.

White has been blamed by many fans — and by important people with influence on university affairs — for failure to smoothly handle events of the last year concerning the football team. His scalp is regularly called for on sports radio talk shows.

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White has no news conference scheduled, but is doing a series of phone interviews today.