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KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has named three faculty members as the latest group of James R. Cox University Professors.

The group includes Angela Batey, associate professor of music; Louis J. Gross, professor of mathematics and ecology and evolutionary biology; and Donald Hodges, professor of forestry, wildlife and fisheries.

Each professorship lasts three years, and includes a stipend of $25,500 given in three annual blocks of $8,500 to be used at the recipients’ discretion. They are awarded to faculty who are recognized for outstanding classroom teaching and scholarly work, as well as campus and community leadership.

“Each of these faculty members serves as an example of a well-rounded faculty member,” said UT Knoxville Provost Susan Martin. “They have excelled in the classroom, the laboratory, the campus and the community.”

The professorships are named for James R. Cox, a native of Knoxville, whose gifts to the university through his sister and nephew, Charlotte and Jim Musgraves, helped establish the professorships in 2002.

Batey is the associate director of graduate studies for the School of Music in the College of Arts and Sciences, and also directs the school’s choral activities. Last year, she directed a combined UT Knoxville choir in a performance at Carnegie Hall.

Gross is the director of the newly created National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis, funded by a $16 million award from the National Science Foundation. A former president of the UT Knoxville Faculty Senate, Gross has been at UT Knoxville since 1979.

Hodges is the director of UT’s Natural Resource Policy Center and also serves as the undergraduate coordinator for his department. Since joining UT Knoxville in 1999, he successfully has directed 17 graduate students and been awarded more than 40 grants and contracts totaling nearly $7 million.

In addition to the newly named Cox Professors, the title is currently also held by George Dodds, associate professor of architecture, who earned the distinction in 2005.
Recipients of Cox Professorships are chosen by a committee designated by the chancellor from nominees submitted by the deans of the applicable colleges.

In his original gift, Cox designated that the professorships go to faculty in the arts and theater, biological and physical sciences, architecture and forestry studies, areas about which he was most passionate. Other portions of his gift went to support funding for the College of Architecture and Design and led to the naming of the James R. Cox Auditorium in the Alumni Memorial Building.


Jay Mayfield (865-974-9409,