The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Dr. Stacy welcomes Dr. Petersen to UTC.

Petersen talks with faculty, staff, and community members who came to welcome him to UTC.


UT President-Elect Visits UTC

Chattanooga welcomed the 22nd president of the UT system to the UTC campus Friday. Dr. John Petersen said every campus has a prominent role to play in what is important to the state, and the University of Tennessee system is going to make its mark. He said he believes the system could be in the top 25 institutions in the country or higher.

“It will take all of us are working together to build highly productive programs throughout the state,” Petersen said.

Petersen acknowledged Chattanooga community leaders’ and philanthropic interaction with the UTC campus, calling it “one of the most engaged if not the most engaged campus.”

Petersen, provost and executive vice president at the University of Connecticut, was elected Wednesday by the university's Board of Trustees. He is expected to assume the presidency on July 1.

The university's Board of Trustees elected Petersen following a nationwide search involving broad input and candidate interviews broadcast over the Internet. Trustee James L. Murphy, III has heard the Internet interviews compared to “reality tv.”

Student Government Association President James Armour told Petersen, “ I saw on the webcast they gave you an orange tie, so I have a little gift for you,” as he presented Petersen with an official blue and gold tie, which Petersen immediately slipped under his collar.

Before his term began at the University of Connecticut in 2000, Petersen was dean of the College of Science and professor of chemistry at Wayne State University from 1994-2000. Previously he held positions as the department head of chemistry and associate dean for research in the College of Sciences at Clemson University, and assistant professor of chemistry at Kansas State University.

Peterson received the Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from the University of California at Santa Barbara and the B.S. in chemistry from California State University.