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By Lloyd Axelrod

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A special meeting of the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees will take place Jan. 19 at 8 p.m. in the 18th floor Board Room of the Patterson Office Tower to consider the three candidates.

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Jan. 10, 2001 – (Lexington, Ky.) – University of Kentucky Presidential Search Committee Chair JoEtta Wickliffe today officially announced the names of three finalists for the presidency of the University of Kentucky.  Two university officials and a technology industry leader are the contenders for UK’s top position.  A special meeting of UK’s Board of Trustees will take place Jan. 19 at 8:00 p.m. in the 18th floor Board Room of the Patterson Office Tower to consider the three candidates – one of whom could succeed current president Charles T. Wethington Jr., who retires June 30.

Gregory Geoffroy, senior vice president for Academic Affairs and provost at the University of Maryland, is a native of Louisville and a University of Louisville graduate in chemistry.  He holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology.  At Penn State University from 1974 to 1997, he was head of the Department of Chemistry and dean of Eberly College of Science from 1988 to 1997.  He has been provost of the University of Maryland since 1997 and served as interim president from July through September of 1998.

Lee Todd, senior vice president of Lotus Development Corporation received his bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Kentucky in 1968.  The Earlington, Kentucky, native earned his master’s (1971) and Ph.D. (1973) degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  After postdoctoral studies he returned to the University of Kentucky as an assistant and associate professor of electrical engineering from 1974 to 1983.  He founded Projectron in 1981 and was the president and founder of DataBeam Corporation in 1983.  Todd is a member of Kentucky’s Council on Postsecondary Education.

Jon Whitmore, provost of the University of Iowa, completed his Bachelor of Arts (1967) and master’s (1968) degrees in speech at Washington State University.  The University of California, Santa Barbara in 1974 awarded his Ph.D. in theatre history.  At West Virginia University from 1974 to 1982, he served as assistant to the president and was interim dean of the College of Creative Arts.  He was dean of the Faculty of Letters at the State University of New York, Buffalo from 1984 through 1990.  Whitmore was named dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas at Austin in January 1990.  He has served as provost at the University of Iowa since August 1996.

On-campus interviews for the three candidates are scheduled for Jan. 17 (Geoffroy), Jan. 18 (Whitmore) and Jan. 19 (Todd).  The candidates will meet individually with faculty, students, staff, alumni, administrators, and members of the Board of Trustees and others in open forums.  A detailed schedule of the candidates’ on-campus meetings, photos of each candidate, their complete curriculum vitae and a feedback mechanism will be posted soon on UK’s Presidential Search Website.

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