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UTM Chancellor Keith Carver to serve in UTIA leadership

Yesterday morning, UT System President Randy Boyd and University of Tennessee, Knoxville Chancellor Donde Plowman announced that Dr. Keith Carver had been tapped to serve as the new leader for the UT Insititute of Agriculture (UTIA). Pending board approval, Carver will serve as Senior Vice Chancellor and Senior Vice President beginning March 1.

Dr. Keith Carver and Mrs. Hollianne Carver throwing a Skyhawk with one hand each. Students are participating in a walk for I Heart UTM Week in the background of the photo.
Dr. Keith and Hollianne Carver (Pacer Photo/ Rachel Moore)

Carver, in an email to students, shared that this was a decision he and his wife wrestled with for a while. "This is a bittersweet day for Hollianne and me." He shared in the same email that he was excited to move his family back to Knoxville, where his two adult children live and where they will be welcoming a grandchild this summer.

"We have enjoyed representing UT Martin across West Tennessee and the surrounding region, celebrating with you at university events and opening up our home for meals, card games and s'mores," Carver stated early Thursday morning. "I'm forever grateful for the good work we've accomplished together. And while I'll miss all aspects of this great university community, it's probably no surprise that I'll miss the people the most."

Current Senior Vice Chancellor and Senior Vice President Carrie Castille will become a special advisor to the president of the UT System. Over the next several months, Castille will advise the president on issues of agriculture-related policy, and federal grant opportunities.

“We appreciate Carrie’s service and are very excited to have Keith move into this statewide role with UTIA,” said Boyd. “His experience across the UT system, collaborative spirit and his deep appreciation for UT’s land grant mission made him an obvious choice for this role.”

Carver, who previously served as executive assistant to UT President Joe DiPietro, will head UTIA in a two-year limited duration appointment to provide stability and leadership to the institute. The UT Institute of Agriculture provides solutions to problems across the state through UT Extension, UT AgResearch, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine and the Herbert College of Agriculture. “Agriculture is central to Tennessee’s economy and way of life,” said Plowman. “Keith will hit the ground running and support the important work happening all across UTIA. I look forward to working with him in this new way. I appreciate the energy and passion for agriculture that Carrie has and wish her all the best in her new pursuits.”

UTIA is thriving with record research expenditures, increased enrollment, expanding programs, including its first School of Natural Resources, and a strong Extension presence in all 95 counties. UT Martin Provost Philip Cavalier will serve as interim chancellor at UT Martin. The university will launch a search for a new chancellor in the coming weeks.


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