For the last six weeks, insiders predicted that Ag Chancellor Dr. Joe DiPietro would be the next University of Tennessee president, suggesting there would be majority support for an internal candidate for the post. Meanwhile, the dog and pony show of interviewing finalists and campus tours continued.
But going into the final round there was a move by insurgent members of the Board of Trustees to force the well-oiled machine off track. They coalesced around Dr. Brian Noland as an alternative candidate. Noland has a degree from UT and has worked for the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. He is now in West Virginia.
The insurgents thought they had the votes for Noland going into the meeting, but two trustees switched their choice and DiPietro was selected by an 11-10 vote. DiPietro has been at UT for four years and has headed the bio-fuels project for UT.