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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A University of Tennessee board of trustees search committee will begin reviewing applications for the UT presidency Feb. 15.

The board of trustees’ presidential search committee set the date Monday after approving a job description for the position. Also approved was a plan to attract African-American candidates for the university’s top administrative post.

The position will be advertised in national higher education publications in January, and letters soliciting nominations will be sent to all land-grant universities and to historically black institutions.

Trustee Bill Sansom of Knoxville is chairman of the eight-member search committee. Both Beauchamp Brogan, secretary of the UT board of trustees, and Heidrick & Struggles, a consulting firm helping UT with the search, will accept nominations and applications, Sansom said.

The job description says applicants and nominees should have ”a commitment and vision for institutional excellence for the university.” It also says the successful candidate will have an ”understanding and appreciation of the role of a complex, multi-site university and land-grant college. ”

The recruiting plan says UT is committed to making good faith efforts to increase the number of African-American faculty and administrators employed by the University. The job description requires that candidates understand and be committed to UT’s affirmative action and desegregation objectives.

UT President Joe Johnson has announced his plans to retire June 30.