University of Tennessee’s Board of Trustees says they will consider appointing Knoxville businessman and failed gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd to serve as interim president, WJHL reports.
The job could last up to 24 months or until the appointment of a new president at UT. If he’s appointed as interim president, Boyd has told the board that he will decline to be paid a salary.
Boyd lost in a blowout primary election Aug. 2 in the Republican governor’s race to political newcomer Bill Lee.
UT President Joe DiPietro said Monday that he planned to retire from active service Nov. 21, the university announced.
Members of the public can preregister to address the board regarding the proposed appointment during a 30-minute comment period at the Sept. 25 meeting at the Visitors Center on the UT Knoxville campus.
UT Board Chair John Compton said appointing an interim president gives the trustees time to plan for the university’s future. He and the other trustees, since beginning their work Aug. 1, have individually been meeting with and listening to key stakeholders, including legislators, faculty, campus leadership and alumni.
Boyd is the founder and chairman of Radio Systems Corp., with more than 700 employees, offices in six countries and the brands PetSafe, Invisible Fence and SportDOG.
Boyd’s company, “the world’s leading dog and cat products supplier,” began manufacturing its products in China in 1993, The Tennessee Star reported. The company expanded its China operations in 2005 to include outsourcing its research and development work at the China Development Center located in Shenzhen.
Boyd was the architect for “Drive to 55” and tnAchieves and served as Governor Bill Haslam’s adviser for higher education. He was chair of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and as Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.