News from the Hill, Fall 2014


(photo courtesy of Professor Jeff Moersch)

Welcoming new faculty and staff, and announcing new leadership appointments in the college.

Andy Kramer Appointed Associate Dean for Academic Personnel

Andy-KramerAndy Kramer was appointed Associate Dean for Academic Personnel effective July 1. In this position he works very closely with the department heads and directors of the academic units of the college, as well as the Vice-Provost for Academic Affairs.

Having been first appointed as head of the Department of Anthropology in 2000, he served fourteen years consecutively before resigning to join the college team. Professor Jan Simek began serving as interim department head of anthropology on August 1 and will continue until a search for a permanent department head can be completed.

Kramer is professor in the Department of Anthropology where his research as a paleoanthropologist focused on human evolutionary studies. In the 1990s, he directed a multi-disciplinary field project in Java, Indonesia. In recent years he has investigated how evolution is taught, particularly here in Tennessee. He completed undergraduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and went on to earn MA and PhD degrees in anthropology at the University of Michigan. He joined the UT faculty in 1990.

Leadership Appointments in Academic Departments

One of the twenty-one departments in the college will have new leadership when the 2014-2015 academic year begins. One department head has been reappointed for a second term and three interim department heads have been named.

Political Science

Richard Pacelle has been appointed professor and department head in Political Science beginning August 1.   Pacelle earned the Doctor of Philosophy degree in political science at Ohio State University and held faculty positions at Indiana University and University of Missouri-St. Louis before joining the faculty at Georgia Southern University in 2003 as professor and chair of the department. He chaired the department from 2003-2011. Pacelle’s primary research focus is the Supreme Court, including Supreme Court and judicial agendas, policy evolution and the role of policy entrepreneurs in the judiciary, the role of the solicitor general, Supreme Court decision making, cross-institutional decision making, inter-branch relations, and strategic institutional behavior. His publications include four books and monographs, several articles, and a number of book reviews and essays. His most recent book, Decision Making by the Modern Supreme Court (with Brett W. Curry and Bryan W. Marshall) was published by Cambridge University Press in 2011. His fifth book, The Supreme Court in a Separation of Powers System: The Nation’s Balance Wheel is scheduled for public in January, 2015. While at Georgia Southern, Pacelle garnered the University Award for Excellence in Research and Scholarship and the CLASS Award for Distinction in Scholarship.

Pacelle replaces former department head, John Scheb, who was first appointed August 1, 2009 for a five year term. Scheb resigned the headship this year at the end of his five-year term to return full time to the faculty. He had served as interim department head for two before beginning his five year term.

Earth and Planetary Sciences

Professor Larry McKay has been reappointed for a second five-year term as head of the department. His initial appointment was for five years beginning August 1, 2009.

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Professor Randall Small has been appointed interim department head for a second year as the search continues for a permanent head.

Religious Studies

Professor Rachelle Scott has been appointed as interim department head for one year beginning August 1, 2014 through July 31, 2015 while the current department head, Professor Rosalind Hackett, is on professional leave. Professor Hackett will resume her appointment as department head on August 1, 2015.


Professor Jan Simek has been appointed interim department head while the department conducts a search for a permanent head.

“Filling these positions with able leadership is critically important,” said Theresa Lee, dean of the college. “ The department heads and directors of the academic units play key roles in the administration of the college and their leadership is a pivotal factor in the college’s progress on our strategic goals as we work together to advance the college and the university.”

Thirty-two New Faculty Joined the College in August

Seventeen of the college’s twenty-one departments welcomed a total of thirty-two new faculty colleagues for the first day of classes this semester. To learn more about the new additions to the college faculty and their areas of scholarship and research, visit the new faculty listing on our website and learn about their research and scholarship.

Welcoming New Staff to the College Office

 Advising Services

Sara-Harp Brittany-HuntTwo new professional advisors have joined the staff in advising services following the completion of their graduate studies.

Sara Harp joined the team from Athens, Ohio where she earned a master’s degree in college student personnel from Ohio University.  Her bachelor’s degree is in political science from Marietta College.

Brittany Hunt joined the team from Lincoln, Nebraska where she earned a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  She has a bachelor’s degree in communication studies with minors in African American studies and ethnic studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Both Sara and Brittany gained experience in academic advising during their graduate studies.


Jason-SmethersJason Smethers has been appointed college data analyst. This is a new position created to support the administrative offices of the college in a variety of efforts aligned with the university’s Top 25 initiative. Jason will collect, analyze, and interpret data that both informs college-level strategic planning efforts and resource allocation decisions and allows the college to assess and improve the effectiveness of its core teaching and research activities.

Jason has held two other positions at UT. Most recently, he served as coordinator of special projects in the Office of the Provost and before that he was employed in the University Registrar’s Office.

Jason earned the bachelor’s degree in music education at Eastern Kentucky University and the master’s degree in higher education administration at the University of Kansas.


Suzanne-CateSusanne Cate has joined the college communications office as print communications manager.  Susanne comes to UT from Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, Tennessee where she served as Creative Director in University Relations for the past four years. Since 2013 she has held an adjunct appointment as Visual Communications Instructor at ITT TECH where she occasionally teaches visual communications.  Earlier in her career, Susanne has held several professional positions including Advertising Art Director for CityView Magazine, Art Director for Harrell Advertising, Manager/Graphic Designer for and Packaging Services, and has stayed creatively active as a freelance graphic designer.  She brings a wealth of professional experience to our office along with a reputation for outstanding service to her clients.

Susanne holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Carson-Newman University with graphic design emphasis.  A traditional artist, she enjoys any opportunity to express her creativity whether it is in graphic design, traditional painting or drawing, designing jewelry, or as a volunteer at Encore Theatrical Company.


Jane-GulleyJane S. Gulley has joined the college development team as the new coordinator of annual giving and donor relations, a position previously held by Louis Diez. Jane came to UT in 2008 as a prospect researcher for development where she has been responsible for researching information to support development officers throughout the UT System.  Now she has joined the UT Knoxville team to support College of Arts and Sciences development with her expertise and experience. Jane holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Yale University and a master’s degree from Teachers College, Columbia University.