April 21st, 2004

Check Six

UT Replaces Crook with Yankee

The search for the 23rd President of the University of Tennessee ended today with the selection of John Petersen by the Board of Trustees. This marks the end of a tumultuous three years when former presidents John Shumaker and J. Wade Gilley resigned amid scandals of improper use of university property and allegations of a relationship with a subordinate, respectively. Staff writer Gabriel Garcia of The Daily Beacon reports on the highlights of Petersen's final interview with the Presidential Search Committee yesterday. Here's a sample from Garcia's article:
He noted a committee member's assertion that many citizens of the state of Tennessee do not understand the value of higher education, and that while legislators do understand, they also tend to vote in alignment with their less informed constituencies.

"The university must serve as a broker to bring more industry into the state," Petersen said. "Communication to the people of the state is also important in order to let them (people of Tennessee) know of the benefits of the university."
Hm. Well done, John. Nothing like introducing yourself to almost 40,000 faculty and students by saying that their fellow Tennesseans don't grasp the importance of higher education. I see those alumni purses slamming shut already.

Nonetheless, I'm willing to give President Petersen the benefit of the doubt. I mean, he already knows not to sleep with the help or play home improvement with university funds. How much harm could he do?

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