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New UTSI Director Soon, Support Council Promised

A new leader for The University of Tennessee Space Institute may be chosen within a couple of months, the chairman of the search committee told UTSI’s Support Council Thursday night.

Jack Britt, UT executive vice president, who chairs the committee, said, “We have six applications and are busy recruiting others. I sense a lot of interest, and I want the position filled by March 1.”

This, he said, would give the new leader some time with John E. Caruthers, who is retiring June 30 as UT associate vice president and chief operating officer of the Space Institute.

Dick Farrar of Fayetteville was elected as chairman of the Council, succeeding William Kimzey of Estill Springs. John Rampy of Winchester, retired AEDC executive director and a “Distinguished Alumnus” of UTSI, was elected vice chairman, Joe Lester and Ray Knowis, both of Tullahoma, secretary and treasurer respectively. Robert E. Smith Jr. of Manchester presented the nominees who were unanimously elected.

Knowis and Rampy had other commitments.

Caruthers reported on recent progress at UTSI, introduced two new faculty members, told of two recent major workshops led by the Institute, and presented Kimzey with a plaque in appreciation for his leadership the past three years.

William Hofmeister, a new research professor and head of UTSI’s Center for Laser Applications, is vital to UTSI’s focus on materials processing, and Gregory Sedrick, professor of Industrial and Information Engineering, will help strengthen UTSI’s Engineering Management and Distant Learning program, Caruthers said.

Farrar also gave Kimzey a plaque, in appreciation for his leadership of the Council, and introduced members of the Council’s Executive Committee. Those present were Ewing J. Threet and Robert E. Smith, Manchester, Ed Kraft, Dan Pierre, Caruthers, Lester, Tullahoma, and Kimzey, Estill Springs. Absent members were Dick Austin, Rampy and Knowis.

Britt was accompanied from Knoxville by David Millhorn, vice president for research, Gary Rogers, chief finance officer, Robert Levy, vice president of academic affairs, and Dan Stewart, special assistant to Britt.

Other members of Britt’s search committee are Way Kuo, UT engineering dean, co-chair, David Jerome, executive director of AEDC, Bill Hamel, head of UT’s Department of Mechanical, Aeronautical and Biomedical Engineering, Stewart, and Claudia Rawn and Craig Blue, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Joe Lester and Gary Flandro, UTSI professor, both of Tullahoma, Joel W. Muehlhauser, Manchester, assistant UT vice president and UTSI research dean, and Patricia Burks-Jelks, director, Human Resources, Affirmative Action, and Services, UTSI.