The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Dr. Joe Johnson speaks with UTC students.

UT Trustee Bucky Wolford cuts up with Dr. Joe Johnson.

UT President Visits Chattanooga

Dr. Joe Johnson, Interim President of The University of Tennessee, visited the UTC campus for a series of meetings to renew old acquaintances and meet new faculty, staff and students. He welcomed a crowd in the Tennessee Room of the University Center.

“I am absolutely thrilled with the renovation of the University Center,” Johnson said. After hearing that construction crews should finish by January, Johnson joked that the campus could expect the UC to be finished in March or April. “Always add three months to the projected completion date,” Johnson said.

On a more serious note, Johnson observed that he has become the fifth president in four years, saying he did not intend to be a hero and in many ways he did not want to come out of retirement to again serve as president of the UT system. Johnson added “I want to be the most boring president The University of Tennessee has ever had, and I want the focus to return to our students and faculty,” Johnson said.

Calling UTC “a tremendous institution,” Johnson expressed his support for the doctoral program in physical therapy, and his hope to add the doctorate of engineering through the efforts of UT Trustees Bucky Wolford and John Thornton, who also serve as UT Chattanooga Liaison Committee Vice Chair and Chair, respectively. “If Bucky and John and I can pull it off, we’ll have another one on October 10,” Johnson said. The UT Board of Trustees is expected to vote on the UTC engineering doctoral program on October 10 in Knoxville.

Johnson parted with words of encouragement to the Chattanooga campus. “Keep your chins up folks, it’s going to get better,” he said.