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KNOXVILLE — Chancellor Loren Crabtree has asked a search committee to recommend candidates for the job of provost/vice chancellor for academic affairs, the chief academic officer for the University of Tennessee, Knoxville campus.

Committee chair is Dr. Harry -Hap- McSween, distinguished professor of science in the university-s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

-In elevating the title of the lead academic administrator to provost/vice chancellor of academic affairs, we hope to recruit someone who not only will meet the high standards set by their predecessor, but also take on even more responsibilities as UT meets the challenges of educating Tennessee-s best students in the decade ahead,- Chancellor Crabtree said.

Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Anne Mayhew now holds responsibility as chief academic officer. She announced in December that she would retire in August 2006.

-The current administrative team has set the bar high. UT enrolled this year the most qualified freshman class in its history, with an average ACT score of 25.6,- Crabtree said.

-UT received a resoundingly positive reaccreditation in December from SACS, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. A significant part of achieving that agency-s approval is our ambitious and transformative ten-year Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) to broaden our students- knowledge and experience with cultures other than their own, both domestically and abroad,- Crabtree said.

-I-ve charged the committee with recruiting candidates for provost who could be comfortable immersed in our QEP and who could match, even exceed, the energy our leadership team, faculty, staff and students are investing for UT to be ranked in the top tier of research and teaching institutions,- he said.

-The provost will be the chancellor-s right arm,- McSween said. -The provost will oversee both undergraduate and graduate curricula and academic programs related to QEP; will play a key role in the UT-Oak Ridge National Laboratory partnership; will serve in place of the chancellor in his absence; and will be the direct reporting line for the deans of eight colleges, UT Libraries, and graduate studies.

-We want the search to be as broad as possible to attract the best candidates. At the same time, we are expediting the search so that UT faculty can participate with the committee in interviewing candidates during spring semester. If possible, we want to have the new provost on the job when fall semester begins,- McSween said.

Search committee members represent students, faculty, staff and the Knoxville community. They are Denise Barlow, vice chancellor for finance and administration; Ed Cortez, director of the School of Information Sciences; Linda Davidson, associate vice president for development and vice chancellor for development; Todd Diacon, head of the history department; Deseriee Kennedy, associate professor of law and president of the Faculty Senate; Way Kuo, dean of engineering; Rahim Manji, senior in the College Scholars program; Matt Myers, associate professor of marketing, logistics and transportation; Dulcie Peccolo, assistant to the dean of education, health, and human sciences; and Mintha Roach, president and CEO of the Knoxville Utilities Board and member of the Chancellor-s Associates.

Until the new provost is hired, current information about the search will be available online at

UT-s last titled provost was Loren Crabtree, who came to UT in the spring of 2001 from his post as academic vice president at Colorado State University; he was promoted to chancellor of the Knoxville campus in 2003. Three previous provosts include Clif Woods, now vice chancellor for research, who served as interim from 2000 to 2001; John Peters, now president of Northern Illinois University, who served in the 1990s on Chancellor Bill Snyder-s staff; and the late George Wheeler, who served on the staff of the late Chancellor Jack Reese in the 1980s.