Randy Boyd was appointed interim president of the University of Tennessee by the UT Board of Trustees Sept. 25, 2018. He took office Nov. 22 following the retirement of UT President Joe DiPietro. As interim president, Boyd will serve as the chief executive officer of a statewide university system that includes the flagship campus in Knoxville, campuses in Chattanooga and Martin, the Health Science Center in Memphis, the Space Institute in Tullahoma, and statewide institutes of agriculture and public service.
Boyd is the founder and chairman of Radio Systems Corp., a Knoxville-based business. They have more than 800 employees, offices in six countries and produce pet related products under the brand names PetSafe, Invisible Fence and SportDOG. He also serves as chairman of Boyd Sports and is the owner of the Tennessee Smokies, Johnson City Cardinals, Greeneville Reds and Elizabethton Twins.
Boyd served as chair of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and as commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. He is founder and co-chair of the Governor’s Rural Taskforce, which exists to help state government and industry leaders find solutions to the biggest challenges facing rural Tennessee.
Boyd also served as Gov. Bill Haslam’s adviser for higher education and was the architect for Tennessee Promise, Drive to 55 and Tennessee Achieves—initiatives aimed at increasing the number Tennesseans with post-secondary degrees to 55 percent by 2025 and decreasing financial hardship for those Tennesseans pursuing degrees.
Through his philanthropy, Boyd also supports the UT Knoxville Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research and the UT Institute of Agriculture Boyd Venture Challenge seed grant program for student entrepreneurs.
Boyd is the first in his family to graduate from college. He earned a bachelor’s of science degree in business with an emphasis on industrial management from UT Knoxville. He also earned a master’s degree in liberal studies with a focus on foreign policy from the University of Oklahoma.
Boyd and his wife, Jenny, live in Knoxville. They have two children and one grandchild.