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NASHVILLE — The Executive Committee of the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees Monday recommended Dr. Joseph E. Johnson to serve as interim UT president.

The full board will act on the recommendation Thursday. Johnson, who served as UT’s 19th president

Dr. Joseph E. Johnson

from 1990-1999, currently serves as president emeritus.

If elected by the full board, Johnson will serve until a new president is named. Dr. John W. Shumaker resigned as president Aug. 8.

“I appreciate the confidence the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees expressed today in recommending that I become the Interim President of the University of Tennessee,” Johnson said after the recommendation.

“Obviously, this unexpected change in my university role would impact my lifestyle and plans. Pat and I thoroughly enjoyed the last four years, but we also are devoted deeply to UT. For a defined period of time, I am willing to accept the role of Interim President if this is the decision the Board of Trustees makes on Thursday.

“UT has been a strong force in the State of Tennessee for more than 200 years. It has excellent students, faculty and staff; generous donors; great alumni; and many other wonderful supporters throughout the Volunteer State. I look forward to continuing to help make a great university even better.”

An Alabama native, Johnson earned master-s and doctoral degrees at UT. He first served UT administratively as executive assistant to UT President Andy Holt.

In his 40-year career, Johnson has held almost every top UT administrative position, including vice president for development, chancellor of the Health Science Center in Memphis and executive vice president.

Under his presidency, UT-s 21st Century Campaign raised more than $430 million.