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Former UT Knoxville business professor and college dean C. Warren Neel has been named interim president of Lincoln Memorial University.

Neel will serve as interim president while a national search is conducted for the university’s 20th president. Neel will work at LMU’s offices in downtown Knoxville three days a week and will remain in his post as executive director of the UT Knoxville College of Business Administration’s Corporate Governance Center.

“This is a crucial time for LMU and it was important to find the right person to take over the reins while we search for our next president,” said LMU Chairman Autry O.V. “Pete” DeBusk. “Warren Neel is the right person. His leadership will allow us to continue with our growth while strengthening some of our current programs including the School of Business.”

Neel has served in his current position since 2003 when he returned to UT Knoxville to establish the Corporate Governance Center. Prior to that, he was the Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration, serving as the Governor’s chief financial officer for Tennessee state government. In that role he managed a more than $20 billion budget. He served in the State Cabinet from 2000 to 2003.

Neel also served as Dean of the UT College of Business Administration, a position he held for 25 years. During his tenure, he also served in the Cabinet of Governor Lamar Alexander and was a member of the transition team when Alexander was Secretary of Education. He began his academic career in UT’s Department of Management, where his research focus was corporate policy. He has published many academic articles in management journals and has published essays in a number of the nation’s leading newspapers. Neel received a bachelor’s degree from Mississippi State and a MBA and PhD from the University of Alabama.

“I am honored to assist LMU during this transition,” Neel said. “My focus will be, as it has been throughout my entire academic career, on students who have entrusted their future to the University and the faculty.”