UT President ‘Exceeds Expectations’ in First Year

KNOXVILLE — University of Tennessee President John D. Petersen “clearly exceeded expectations for his first year in office,” according to a board of trustees evaluation of the top administrator.

The evaluation was part of the board’s annual meetings held in Knoxville June 22-23.

Petersen took office on July 1, 2004. Key goals set forth by the board were to rebuild relationships with key constituencies, restore confidence in the presidency, rebuild the university’s senior leadership team, and establish a framework to achieve strategic growth at each campus and institute.

“Dr. Petersen’s performance in relationship building and restoring confidence in the presidency has far exceeded expectations,” the evaluation states. “He has tirelessly traveled the state visiting campuses and institutes; meeting with students, faculty, staff and community groups; attending alumni events; and meeting with legislators, constitutional officers and members of the executive branch.

“Leaders of constituency groups give Dr. Petersen very high marks for his accessibility, willingness to listen and concern for their needs,” the evaluation says.

Noting the extraordinary task of filling seven administrative vacancies, the report commends Petersen’s leadership in filling five of the key positions, with vacancies still existing in the vice president for development and chief financial officer positions.

The evaluation says, “-Even in the face of key vacancies he was able to begin the process of identifying the strengths of each campus/institute and link the budget process to strategic plans.”

The process, led by UT Trustee Don Stansberry, involved a self-evaluation submitted by Petersen and interviews with 15 senior administrative staff and representatives of student, staff, faculty and alumni leadership.

During his address to the board on Wednesday, Dr. Petersen discussed his key goals for 2006:

· Complete the leadership team.
· Solidify the strategic budgeting process.
· Build relationships with major funding sources.
· Complete work on benchmarking process.
· Develop case statements in support of a major gift campaign.

For more information on Petersen’s first year and a list of university-wide goals, read the text of his address to the board at http://pr.tennessee.edu/news/article.asp?id=2189.