Former Gubernatorial Candidate Randy Boyd Likely to Serve as Interim University of Tennessee President

Randy Boyd

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.







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2 Thoughts to “Former Gubernatorial Candidate Randy Boyd Likely to Serve as Interim University of Tennessee President”

  1. […] up to 24 months or until the appointment of a new president at UT, The Tennessee Star previously reported. Boyd has told the board that he will decline to be paid a […]

  2. John Bumpus

    Randy Boyd is a defeated gubernatorial candidate, badly defeated—in fact, utterly rejected in that he was assumed by almost all of the GOP’s senior leadership in the State, prior to this year’s August GOP Gubernatorial Primary, to be the ‘heir apparent’ for the office, and he had virtually unlimited personal resources available for that race.

    I view this move by the UT Board of Trustees as an action to try to politically rehabilitate Boyd―that is, to try to give him stature and gravitas.

    I would be opposed to this action under ordinary circumstances—I do not think that the University of Tennessee presidency should be politicized like this. But the fact that Boyd is an open borders, unlimited immigration supporter makes this move absolutely intolerable for me.

    And furthermore, I see this move by the UT Board of Trustees as an effort by the East Tennessee GOP leadership crowd to try ‘to pull a fast one’ on Middle Tennessee and West Tennessee GOP conservatives.

    Senator Alexander’s term of office ends in January 2021. At that time Alexander will be six months shy of 81 years old. I have heard that at the end of his current term, Alexander intends to retire.

    I think that what is ‘really going on here’ is an effort ‘to lay the groundwork for Boyd’s candidacy for the U.S. Senate to replace Senator Alexander.

    Well that’s just great; what this State really needs is Senator Randy Boyd (RINO, Tennessee), right? Wrong! In fact, if Boyd did become the Republican nominee for the Senate to replace Alexander in the 2020 general election, there is every likelihood that so many Tennessee conservatives would choose not vote to for him in that race that there would be a very high risk that the seat would ‘flip over’ to the Dems. But then, real RINOs could care less—six of one and half a dozen of another—what difference would it make?

    Boyd and his supporters are not about you and for you, Tennessee conservatives, they are about and for themselves.

    And one final thought, if Boyd should be successful next week in his bid to become President of the UT System, Bill Lee should ‘put the word out’ that he will upon taking office as Governor immediately replace every member of the UT Board who votes(ed) for Boyd such that his newly appointed replacement Trustees will then immediately thereafter remove Boyd as UT President.

    What Boyd and his supporters are trying to do in this effort should not be tolerated by any who truly wish Tennessee, and its institutions, well!