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LEE T. TODD
IS NAMED
UK'S 11TH PRESIDENT 

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By Lloyd Axelrod

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Todd, a UK Engineering graduate, takes over the university in the midst of its rise to national greatness.   During meetings last week with faculty, staff and students, Todd said the top-20 goal is an ambitious one that can bring great stature and economic benefits to Kentucky.

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Jan. 23, 2001 – (Lexington, Ky.) – The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees today named Lee T. Todd  as president-elect of the University of Kentucky. Todd officially will begin his term as UK’s 11th president July 1, when Charles T. Wethington Jr. will step down as president.

Todd, 54, a UK Engineering graduate, takes over the university in the midst of its rise to national greatness. UK’s goal, mandated by the state legislature to achieve top-20 public university status by the year 2020, is driving the state’s largest fund-raising campaign and the improvement of many facilities and programs across the university. During meetings with faculty, staff and students last week, Todd said the top-20 goal is an ambitious one that can bring great stature and economic benefits to Kentucky.

The president-elect will leave behind his post as senior vice president of Lotus Development Corp. An Earlington, Ky., native, Todd earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from UK in 1968. His master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering were earned from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1971 and 1973.  Todd served as an electrical engineering professor at UK from 1974 to 1983, before leaving to found DataBeam, a technology software company based on his academic research that was purchased by IBM in 1998.  Projectron, another company founded in 1981 by Todd, manufactured projection cathode ray tubes for the flight simulation industry and was sold to Hughes Aircraft Co. in 1990. Todd helped found and serves as chairman of the board of the Kentucky Science and Technology Corp.  He is a member of Kentucky’s Council on Postsecondary Education.

Todd’s presidential appointment concludes an intensive nine-month nationwide search that identified a number of highly qualified candidates.  After review of feedback from citizens all over Kentucky and across the UK campus by UK’s Presidential Search Committee, three finalists were selected.

UK’s current president, Charles T. Wethington Jr., earned master’s and doctoral degrees from UK. He began his career in higher education in 1965 as a faculty member on the Lexington campus of UK and two years later was named president of Maysville Community College.  In 1982 he became chancellor of the University of Kentucky’s Community College System and in 1987 became chancellor of the Community College System and University Relations.

Wethington, appointed interim president on Dec. 28, 1989 and president, Sept. 18, 1990, steps down June 30 after 11 and one-half  years as the University of Kentucky’s 10th president.  He will remain with the university in a fund-raising consulting position.

  • Photos and complete biographical information are available here.

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