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KNOXVILLE — Five finalists for chancellor of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, have been selected and will be visiting campus for interviews during the next few weeks.

The finalists are:

• Dr. Jimmy G. Cheek, Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Florida.

• Dr. Jennie Hunter-Cevera, President, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute.

• Dr. Howard Johnson, former Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs and now a math professor, University of North Texas.

• Dr. Ellen Wartella, Executive Vice Chancellor/Provost, University of California, Riverside.

• Dr. David Young, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Arizona State University.

A 21-member committee selected the finalists earlier this month. Chaired by Hap McSween, Distinguished Professor of Science and head of the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences, the committee represents a broad-based group of faculty, staff, students and community leaders.

“As a committee, our mission is to recommend to UT President John Petersen a list of proven leaders who would aggressively promote continued development of UT Knoxville’s academic programs, research productivity and national reputation of excellence, built upon a commitment to access and diversity,” McSween said. “I’m extremely pleased with the diverse pool of applicants we had, and I think we’ve got five very capable leaders to bring to campus. Their campus visits will provide UT administrators, faculty, staff and students a chance to get to know them, as well as giving each candidate an opportunity to get a feel for the campus.”

Each finalist will take part in two full days of meetings on campus.

They will meet with Petersen, Executive Vice President David Millhorn, Interim UT Knoxville Chancellor Jan Simek, the vice chancellors and senior staff, the academic deans, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, Student Government Association representatives and a group of students from the honors programs, representatives of the chancellor’s diversity commission and Oak Ridge National Laboratory directors.

To provide ample opportunity for faculty, staff, students and the Knoxville community to get to know the candidates, each finalist will participate in two campus forums, each an hour long. The forums will be Webcast live and archived on the chancellor search Web site,

During the forums, the candidates will make brief statements and then field questions from the audience. Audience members, those viewing the Webcast and all members of the campus community will be invited to submit feedback about the candidates. The candidates will have 10 minutes of media availability after each of the first campus forums.

The forum schedule is:

• Dr. David Young — 3 p.m., Sept. 8, Hodges Library Auditorium; 2:30 p.m., Sept. 9, University Center Auditorium.

• Dr. Jennie Hunter-Cevera — 4 p.m., Sept. 9, University Center Auditorium; 3:15 p.m., Sept. 10, University Center Auditorium.

• Dr. Ellen Wartella — 2 p.m., Sept. 15, University Center Auditorium; 3:15 p.m., Sept. 16, Black Cultural Center multi-purpose room.

• Dr. Howard Johnson — 2 p.m., Sept. 18, University Center Auditorium; 3:30 p.m., Sept. 19, Hodges Library Auditorium.

• Dr. Jimmy Cheek — 3:45 p.m., Sept. 24, Hodges Library Auditorium; 3:30 p.m., Sept. 25, University Center Auditorium.

For more about each candidate and the search process, see Each candidate has provided a brief biographical statement, curriculum vitae and answers to a series of questions posed by the search committee.

The search for a new chancellor began in January. The search committee, with the assistance of Parker Executive Search, an executive search firm located in Atlanta, considered 37 candidates. Twelve were chosen for a round of preliminary interviews earlier this month. From those, the five finalists were selected.

After the campus interviews, the committee will provide Petersen with its evaluation of the candidates. The chancellor is the chief operating officer of the campus and an “officer of the university,” as defined in UT bylaws, and is elected by the Board of Trustees upon recommendation of the president.

Search committee members are McSween; Denise Barlow, vice chancellor, finance and administration; Palmira Brummett, history professor and Distinguished Professor of Humanities; John Currie, senior associate UT athletics director; Joe DiPietro vice president, Institute of Agriculture; Barbara Dewey, dean and professor, library; Debbie Diddle, past president, UT Alumni Association; Rita Geier, associate to the chancellor; Dee Haslam, chair, UT Development Council; Joan Heminway, associate professor, law; Doug Horne, trustee, Knoxville; Larry Martin, deputy to the mayor, city of Knoxville; Susan Martin, interim provost and professor, classics; Thomas Mason, director, Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Daniel Murphy, professor, accounting; John Rader, UT law student; Gary Sayler, Distinguished Professor, microbiology; Terrell Strayhorn, associate professor and special assistant to the provost; August Washington, chief, UT Police; Jan Williams, dean and professor, College of Business Administration; and Meghan Blackwell, UT Knoxville Student Government Association vice president.

To download the finalists’ photos, go to


Amy Blakely, (865) 974-5034,