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KNOXVILLE – Administrative responsibility for the University of Tennessee Space Institute is being transferred to UT’s chief academic officer, Acting President Emerson Fly has announced.

Fly told the UT Board of Trustees that moving the reporting line to Dr. Loren Crabtree, provost and vice president, will improve the institute’s academic future. UTSI previously reported to Dr. Dwayne McCay, vice president for research and information technology.

“All of us believe that UTSI’s academic future involves a much closer relationship with the Knoxville campus, and this action will help achieve that long-term goal,” Fly said at the trustees’ winter meeting here.

He also said he is appointing two committees to look at integrating academic programs in Tullahoma and Knoxville and to make recommendations on the educational needs of UTSI’s service area. An external consultant, Allan Barber, retired chief business officer at the University of Georgia, recommended the two committees.

Dr. John Prados, retired vice president for academic affairs, will chair the academic review group. Neither the head of the second committee nor the membership of either has been appointed. Both are to report back to the president by July 2002.

Fly said the chair of each group will serve on the other committee.
“All of us value the contributions that the UT Space Institute and its faculty have made to the state and nation for 40 years. We also appreciate the leadership that Vice President Dwayne McCay has provided and the hands-on guidance of Dr. John Caruthers,” he said.

“However, these are challenging times, not only for higher education in general, but particularly for a campus with as specialized a mission as UTSI. It is my belief that these two committees will identify the strategies that will allow UTSI to again become strong and vibrant once again.”
The institute’s enrollment and outside research funding has declined over the past decade, and the consultant said it cannot survive without significant changes.

Contact: John Clark (865-974-5186)