KNOXVILLE, TN (KFVS) - The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees appointed Randy Boyd as the interim president in a meeting on Tuesday, September 25.
Boyd will start his new role on Nov. 22.
Dr. Joe DiPietro, the system’s 25th president, recently announced he will retire from active service on Nov. 21. He’s led the university since January 2011.
“I have confidence in Randy and will do everything I can to make sure he gets a good start,” DiPietro said after the vote. “He will take the momentum we have achieved and will make the university even bigger, better and greater.”
Boyd, a Knoxville businessman, will serve up to two years or until a new president is appointed following an external search. He declined to be paid a salary. Instead, he will receive a stipend of $10,000 per year to cover costs related to enrollment in the state group health insurance plan.
“I am committed to the success of the University of Tennessee and will dedicate my full focus to continuing the momentum achieved by Dr. DiPietro and leaders throughout the system,” Boyd said after trustees voted to approved his appointment. “Thank you for this honor and for putting your trust in me.”
Boyd was nominated by UT Board of Trustees chairman John Compton.
As part of the decision, Compton said he and the other trustees reviewed emails and social media posts and listened to opinions from faculty, students and the general public before and during the meeting.
Boyd graduated from UT Knoxville in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in industrial management and from the University of Oklahoma in 1988 with a master degree in liberal studies focused on foreign policy.
He is the founder and chairman of Radio Systems Corp.
He was the architect for “Drive to 55” with the Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect scholarship programs to help 55 percent of Tennesseans earn a post-secondary degree by 2025. He led Tennessee Achieves as chairman and acted as Gov. Bill Haslam’s adviser for higher education. He also served as chair of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and as commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.