Dr. Ethan Carver has been appointed interim dean of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Graduate School. Carver has worked closely with graduate programs and the Graduate School since 2016, first as assistant dean and then as associate dean.
Dr. Jerold L. Hale, UTC provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, announced the interim appointment.
“Dr. Carver was the logical choice—and the best choice—to transition into the interim role of the Graduate School after Dr. Joanne Romagni rotated back into a faculty role,” Hale said. “We need to build on Dr. Romagni’s successes, and there is nobody on campus better suited to move into that role than Dr. Carver.
“We are at an essential time in the University’s trajectory where we need to move graduate education forward. There are specific targets and goals that we’re trying to meet related to graduation, year-to-year retention, and enrollment, and Dr. Carver will be playing a pivotal role in reaching those objectives. He has been given the power to do what needs to be done and is well-suited to do it.”
Carver has nearly 20 years of faculty and administrative experience at UTC, and his research background includes stints at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, and the Jackson Laboratory in Maine.
“I am delighted and humbled about the opportunity to serve as interim dean and continue to advocate for graduate education,” Carver said. “I would like to publicly thank Dr. Romagni for laying the groundwork and giving me opportunities to work in administration in the Graduate School and to have the trust in me to assist her as assistant and associate dean. I appreciate her mentorship and her friendship and look forward to continuing working with her.”
Carver first came to UTC as an undergraduate, receiving a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1991. He later earned a Ph.D. from the UT-Oak Ridge Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.
In 2005, he returned to UTC as an assistant professor of biology—and was promoted to associate professor in 2011 and professor in 2017. Since 2013, he has been the Lewis and Robert Collins Professorship for Distinguished Teaching in Biological and Environmental Sciences.
Highlights of his time at UTC have included serving on six master’s student committees, 28 undergraduate Honors student committees, as chair of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, and in an oversite role for all graduate programs—leading graduate recruitment and marketing efforts.
According to the University’s official census data announced in September, UTC saw a 12.9% increase in new graduate students from a year ago. The spring 2024 official Graduate School headcount of 1,414 students was up 5.0% from a similar reporting period in 2023.
“I’m looking forward to continuing to advance graduate education and carry the momentum that we’ve already started in the Graduate School,” Carver said. “As we look at some of the new challenges and different educational areas, such as artificial intelligence, I want us to be nimble. I also want to solidify and build more collaborations within the community.
“I’m hopeful I’ll be able to make an impact while working to advocate, strengthen and expand graduate opportunities across campus.”