Skip to main content

KNOXVILLE, TN–UT President John Petersen today announced a 21-member search committee, appointed to identify candidates for the chancellor position at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The committee will be chaired by Dr. Harry (Hap) McSween, distinguished professor of planetary sciences.

Petersen said, “After receiving input from interim chancellor Jan Simek, the UT Knoxville faculty senate, members of the board of trustees, staff, and community leadership, we have assembled a diverse and qualified group of individuals. I am pleased that Dr. McSween has agreed to chair the group. Each participant readily accepted with a commitment to the critical task of identifying candidates to lead the flagship campus.”

Knoxville faculty make up the largest individual group of committee members which include a combination of faculty, staff, students, trustees, alumni and community.

Members of the committee are:

Harry (Hap) McSween, Distinguished Professor, Planetary Sciences
Joan Heminway, Associate Professor, Law
Terrell Strayhorn, Assistant Professor, Education
Daniel Murphy, Professor, Accounting
Gary Sayler, Distinguished Professor, Microbiology
Barbara Dewey, Dean and Professor, Library
Jan Williams, Dean and Professor, Business
Joe DiPietro, Vice President, Institute of Agriculture
Denise Barlow, UT Knoxville Vice Chancellor, Finance and Administration
Rita Geier, UT Knoxville Associate to the Chancellor
Susan Martin, UT Knoxville Senior Vice Provost and Professor, Classics
Palmira Brummett, Professor of History and Distinguished Professor of Humanities
August Washington, Chief, UT Police
John Rader, UT Knoxville Student Government Association President
Anna York, Student Trustee, Knoxville
Larry Martin, Deputy to the Mayor, City of Knoxville
Dee Haslam, Chair, UT Development Council
Debbie Diddle, Past President, UT National Alumni Association
Thom Mason, Director, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
John Currie, Senior Associate UT Athletics Director
Doug Horne, Trustee, Knoxville

“Each member of this group brings necessary and important perspectives to the process,” Petersen said. “It will be very open and inclusive. I am confident the committee will do an excellent job and I am grateful for their service.”

A professional search firm likely will be involved. The group will have its first meeting at the earliest date possible. There is no definite timetable for completion, and the process will continue until the successful candidate is identified.

Following a period of national advertising and other recruiting efforts, the committee will screen applicants and determine a number of candidates who will participate in an interview process. Petersen will select the final candidate from those recommended and present that individual to the board of trustees for final approval.

“Candidates will be recruited nationally,” Petersen said. “This position will attract the highest caliber of leadership and talent and we intend to pursue the search on that basis.”


Gina Stafford, 865-974-0741,
Karen Collins, 865-974-5186,