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  April 26, 2004

Petersen To Head University Of Tennessee

John D. Petersen, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, was named president of the University of Tennessee Wednesday.

Petersen is expected to assume his duties as leader of the five-campus, 42,000-student system on July 1. He had been one of three finalists for the position from an original slate of 47 applicants.

President Philip E. Austin said, "While I am naturally disappointed to see Provost Petersen leave the University of Connecticut, I am delighted that he will have the opportunity to lead a fine institution. Over the past four academic years, John has guided UConn's academic and student life programs through some exceptionally challenging times, and we have come to value his friendship. I know he will make a major contribution to the University of Tennessee, and all of us at UConn wish him the very best."

Petersen came to UConn in June 2000. His accomplishments at the University include developing the framework for an Academic Plan, a document that will serve as a roadmap for the University's academic priorities, capital projects, and the allocation of resources for the next decade.

"The University has benefited from his maintenance of high academic standards, commitment to excellence in research, and devotion to our students," Austin said.

Before coming to UConn, Petersen was dean of the College of Science and professor of chemistry at Wayne State University from 1994-2000. He also previously held the positions of head of the chemistry department and associate dean for research in the College of Sciences at Clemson University; and was an assistant professor of chemistry at Kansas State University.

A native of California, Petersen holds a bachelor's degree from California State University, Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

He is active in the American Chemical Society, the Council for Chemical Research, and sits on the executive committee for chief academic officers of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges.

Austin said he expects to announce soon the designation of an interim provost and set in motion a search process for a permanent appointment.