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KNOXVILLE — Carl Pierce, interim director of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, since June 1, 2009, has been named the center’s director.

Baker Center Director Carl Pierce“I’m pleased Carl has accepted this position,” Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek said. “We’re privileged to have the Baker Center as part of our campus. As it continues to grow and evolve, the center will help put UT Knoxville on the map as a leader in public policy thinking.

“I look forward to working with Carl to develop a strategic mission for the Baker Center.”

Pierce will report to the UT Knoxville chancellor and lead the Baker Center as it works closely with Sen. Baker, UT deans and faculty, and with Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

“I’m pleased to continue leading the Baker Center as we further define its mission and develop a plan for achieving that mission,” Pierce said. “The Baker Center — just like Sen. Baker himself — is an incredible asset to the university, our local community, our state, our nation and, indeed, to the world.”

College of Business Administration Dean Jan Williams chaired the committee that conducted the director search.

Pierce has a bachelor’s degree and law degree from Yale University. He has been teaching in UT’s College of Law since 1972. He also has served the college as assistant dean from 1972 to 1974 and as director of the Clayton Center for Entrepreneurial Law from 1997 to 2000. Now the W. Allen Separk Distinguished Professor of Law, his special interests are corporate law, regulation of the legal profession and American legal history.

The Baker Center, which opened at UT in 2003, is a public policy institute integrating research, education, public programming and archives. It develops programs and promotes research to further the public’s knowledge of our system of governance and to highlight the critical importance of public service, a hallmark of Sen. Baker’s career.

The center opened its new facility in October 2008. The center includes the Modern Political Archives, which hold more than 100 collections of political papers from prominent Tennessee leaders. The museum tells the story of how government works using Sen. Baker’s life as a backdrop, explores modern Tennessee politics and engages students and adults in interactive exhibits. A 200-seat auditorium provides a setting for programs, classrooms and break-out rooms for instruction and conferences.

For more about the Baker Center, see


Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,