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KNOXVILLE—Professor Matt Murray, associate director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has been appointed director of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy. He will begin immediately.

Matt MurrayMurray, the Ball Corporation Professor of Business, will take the place of Carl Pierce, who has directed the center since June 2009. Pierce, who is the W. Allen Separk Distinguished Professor of Law, will now focus on compiling Senator Baker’s papers and will eventually divide his time between the Baker Center and teaching in UT’s College of Law.

“We’re grateful to Carl for leading the center as we’ve studied its role on the campus and outlined a course that will keep it focused on critical issues, link it more directly to the campus’s academic community, and ensure it remains financially viable into the future. He’s helped us make changes that will lay the groundwork for transitioning the Baker Center into a more focused unit,” Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek said.

“Matt is taking the reins at the Baker Center at a time when we’re trying to align it more closely with the university mission to teach, conduct research, and provide service to our community and the world. Matt’s strong research background coupled with the relationships he has not only on campus, but also in the local, state, and national realm, will help us position the Baker Center as the go-to source of public policy information, especially in the areas of global security, energy, and the environment,” Cheek said.

Murray’s appointment as Baker Center director is for three years; he will continue to work with CBER during that time.

Senator Baker said he is enthusiastic about what’s been happening at the center and what its future holds.

“I think Carl did a tremendous job helping us rethink the role of the Baker Center and begin its transition. I now look forward to working with him on a variety of projects with the hope that these efforts may benefit future generations of public servants,” he said. “Meanwhile, I welcome Matt as the new director of the Baker Center. I’m confident his leadership will help it evolve as a thought-leader, both on campus and also with state and national leaders.”

C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,