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 KNOXVILLE, Tenn.– Dr. Lorayne Lester has been named dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

 Lester, the interim dean since May, is the first woman to head UT-Knoxville’s largest college. The appointment was announced Friday by Dr. John Peters, vice chancellor for academic affairs.

 “Lorayne Lester is an administrator of great experience and quality. She will bring excellent leadership to the College of Arts and Sciences,” Peters said.

 Lester said she is flattered to be the first woman dean of arts and sciences.

 “I have the advantage of a long oversight of the college and of knowing large numbers of the faculty,” she said. “I have been at the university all of my academic life. Those are large and valuable advantages as we face troublesome times in the university’s history.”

 A UT faculty member since 1960, Lester is a professor of speech communication. She served as associate dean of arts and sciences for six years before her appointment as interim dean in the spring.

 Lester earned bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees from UT-Knoxville. She was head of the department of speech communications prior to her appointment as associate dean.

 She has been active in the Tennessee and Southeastern theater associations and was named 1987 Communicator of the Year by the Tennessee Speech Communication Association.


 Contact: Dr. John Peters (423-974-3265)