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UT Martin interim provost and interim dean appointments announced


Contact 1: Bud Grimes


MARTIN, Tenn. – Dr. Rich Helgeson, current dean of the University of Tennessee at Martin College of Engineering and Natural Sciences, has been named interim provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs by Dr. Keith Carver, university chancellor. Helgeson will succeed Dr. Jerald Ogg who returns to a teaching position this fall in the Department of Communications. Dr. Jennifer Greenwood, professor and interim chair for the Department of Biological Sciences, will become interim dean for the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences. Both appointments are effective Aug. 1.

Carver announced a search extension May 3 to identify the university’s next chief academic officer. He also announced his decision to appoint an interim while the search continues. Carver said Helgeson is well prepared to lead the university’s academic programs as interim provost until the position is filled. He expects Helgeson to hold the position for a year.

“Dr. Helgeson previously announced his return to the classroom this fall, and I’m grateful for his willingness to change his plans and to fill this critical interim role,” Carver said in a university-wide announcement. “He has distinguished himself both as a faculty member and an administrator during his time at the university. … UT Martin’s academic programs are in excellent hands.”

The vice chancellor for academic affairs articulates a vision for academic affairs, provides leadership for the academic planning process and is responsible for the university’s core academic mission. The university provost directs the institution in the chancellor’s absence.

Helgeson came to UT Martin in 1998 as an engineering faculty member and rose through the ranks to his current dean’s position. He is a registered professional civil engineer in Tennessee and a member of several professional societies. He has an extensive list of presentations and publications both from his professional career as a practicing engineer and as a faculty member. Helgeson holds bachelor’s degrees from California State University-Chico and Loyola University at Los Angeles, a master’s degree from Loyola University at Los Angeles and a doctorate from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is a U.S. Army and Vietnam War veteran.

Greenwood began at UT Martin in 2006 and holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University, a master’s degree from Bowling Green State University in Ohio and a doctorate from the University of Georgia. “We are fortunate Dr. Greenwood is willing to act as interim dean during this time of transition,” said Dr. Jerald Ogg. “She has done a tremendous job as chair of a complex and active department, and she will serve both Dr. Helgeson and her college well.”

Resumes for the provost position are being collected through August. The committee will reconvene in August with on-campus interviews anticipated in winter 2018 and a person named to fill the position starting with the 2018-19 academic year.

UT Martin launched a national search for a new provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs after Dr. Jerald Ogg decided to return to the faculty this fall in the UT Martin Department of Communications. Ogg came to the university as a faculty member in 1987 and has served as provost and vice chancellor since 2011.

Ashlie Czyz, director of human resources programs and executive recruiter for the University of Tennessee System, is serving as executive recruiter for this position. For more information on the search process, contact Czyz at


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