In the fall of 2011, President David S. Dockery began talking with the executive committee of Union University's Board of Trustees about succession planning. The board appointed a five-member succession planning team. Dockery began discussions with the team and other board members on a regular basis.
On January 15, 2013, Dockery announced his intention to transition from president of Union University to the role of university chancellor no later than July 2014. Union trustees were asked to immediately begin the process of searching for his successor as president.
"I am hopeful and prayerful for a good, smooth, joyful and positive transition," Dockery said. "God has blessed the work of our hands and manifested his favor to this university time and time again during these past 17 years. I am confident that we will continue to see God's grace made known to Union in the future."
In the news release announcing Dockery's transition, it was announced that a presidential search committee would be formed and that an executive search firm would be retained to provide counsel to that committee during the transition process. On February 1, 2013, the appointment of a nine-member search committee was announced. Board of Trustees Chairman Norman Hill was appointed chairman, with University Provost Carla Sanderson as vice-chair.
In Spring 2013, Presidential Search web pages were created at uu.edu to inform the public about the transition. Featured on the site are a prayer and fasting calendar and a message blog on which Chairman Hill will report on the committee's progress.