The Dossier on John Petersen, Please

With the UT President it appears to be a matter of when, not if.

A consultant, hired by the Board of Trustees, spent the last two weeks doing private one-on-one interviews with staff and with trustees to write an assessment of Petersen’s tenure. The board will then use the report to give Petersen a new contract or start a search for a new president. Petersen’s contract has expired.

Sources say some of the interviews are not very flattering, coming on the heels of several high-profile public relations snafus in the midst of a budget crisis: expensive office renovations at Andy Holt Tower, almost $500,000 in bonuses to development executives and a flap between a major donor and Petersen’s wife.

The Knoxville faculty remains upset about the firing of popular chancellor Loren Crabtree. Campus sources say relations have strained to the point that three executives who report to Petersen have been asked not to speak to him again.

The Trustees had earlier told Petersen to stop using the UT plane to go back and forth to Chattanooga and Nashville.

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Comments » 1

csachs writes:

As a nontraditional UT student, I am appalled at the job John Peterson has done as president of UT. He ought to be fighting for the students, not expecting us to shoulder the burden of the budget cuts. The News Sentinel described Peterson as "navigating the state's flagship university through an unprecidented budget crises". When one "navigates", one tries to find the best route. Peterson has not found the best route for UT through this crisis. The best route is not to cut classes, services, etc. and make the students suffer. (How much did that 30 minute trip to UTC cost each time? Did he take his loud-mouth wife along as well??)

Has there ever been a good president at UT? Recent presidents have been nothing more than self-serving egoists. UT doesn't need budget cuts. It needs good old-fashioned, roll-your-sleeves-up, darn the torpedoes leadership. Peterson's leadership is gutting the UT system. We need to get rid of him before the buzzards start circling.

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