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VOL. 44 | NO. 13 | Friday, March 27, 2020

UT Trustees appoint Boyd to 5-year term as president

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KNOXVILLE (AP) — The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees on Friday voted unanimously to appoint Interim President Randy Boyd to a 5-year term as president.

The Tennessee alumnus faced some opposition when he was initially appointed in 2018 over his lack of experience in higher education. That was not the case on Friday as the trustees took turns praising Boyd's leadership during an online meeting.

Before his appointment, the board surveyed students, faculty and other constituencies about Boyd's leadership. Boyd also held town hall meetings at the university's campuses. At the Friday meeting, Board Chair John Compton said there was strong support for Boyd to continue as president.

Trustee Brad Box said that as the parent of a UT sophomore who was taking classes "upstairs online right now" he was appreciative of all Boyd and Compton have done during the coronavirus crisis.

"This is the honor of my life," Boyd said after the vote. "I realize this is an incredible responsibility, and I try to live up to it every day. I've dedicated the rest of my life to giving back, and I can't think of a better place to do it."

When he was first appointed in 2018, Boyd had just lost to Bill Lee in the Republican gubernatorial primary and had recently served as state Economic and Community Development commissioner under former Gov. Bill Haslam.

Boyd also was an architect of Haslam's Drive to 55 initiative, which is aimed at increasing the number of Tennesseans with a postsecondary degree or certificate to 55 percent by 2025.

Boyd founded Radio Systems Corp., a Knoxville company that produces invisible fences and other pet products.

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