UT Could Do Worse Than New Chancellor John Morgan

Gov. Phil Bredesen defended the Board of Regents hiring his Deputy Gov. John Morgan to be its new chancellor, saying they had hired the best man for the job. But more significantly, he suggested the University of Tennessee trustees could take a lesson from the Board of Regents, which governs all the colleges not in the UT system.

Bredesen noted to reporters that he voted against the Trustees' last choice and said their selection process "hasn't worked out all that hot." The last three presidents have left under a cloud, leaving the school under the leadership of interim former UT administrators. He defended Morgan's lack of a doctorate by saying there are a lot of successful university presidents without the degree and it might be better for UT if "you don't put that as a fence on the front end."

Bredesen said he would keep hands off, as he did last time around, but hoped someone would be in place before he leaves office in January. As governor Bredesen serves as an automatic member of the UT board of trustees. He has also appointed a majority of the members during his two terms as governor.