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Philip Oldham

UTC's Philip Oldham is expected to be named the next president of Tennessee Technological University, pending approval by the Tennessee Board of Regents on Friday.

The board will meet via telephone to consider Chancellor John Morgan's recommendation for Oldham to replace Bob Bell, who will retire from Tennessee Tech on July 1 after leading the Cookeville, Tenn., campus for 12 years, according to a news release.

Oldham, who was selected after an extensive nationwide search that began earlier this year, is provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

"Dr. Oldham will lead TTU with a commitment to academic integrity, student success and public accountability," said Morgan in the release. "He has outstanding credentials and is well respected among his colleagues and peers nationwide, and I am pleased to recommend him as the next president for Tennessee Tech University."

Tennessee Tech offers degrees in agricultural and human sciences, arts and sciences, business, education, engineering, and interdisciplinary studies and extended education, according to its website.

Oldham has served at UTC since 2007 and has had advisory or direct responsibility for almost every area of university operations. His prior experience was at Mississippi State University, where he joined as a faculty member and held various positions, including dean of arts and sciences, according to the release.

He holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Freed-Hardeman University and a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Texas A&M University.

"Dr. Oldham has served this campus extremely well, and we wish him and his family all the best in this new chapter of his career," wrote UTC Chancellor Roger Brown in an email.

"He will bring the same outstanding skills, wisdom, leadership, and passion to his new position that have made him so successful here at UTC. He leaves this campus stronger than when he arrived and his vision and ideas will continue to influence this campus for decades to come," he added.

Mary Tanner, dean of the College of Health, Education and Professional studies at UTC, will serve as interim provost, according to the email.

"She has a deep understanding of and appreciation for our metropolitan mission, and she holds the respect of her peers both on campus and in the community to lead our academic programs forward during this time of transition," wrote Brown.

Brown said he will begin a formal search process for a permanent provost later this summer and hopes to have a new person on board for the 2013 academic year.