Randy Boyd has served as UT’s 26th president since November of 2018. Boyd serves as the chief executive officer of a statewide university system. The flagship campus in Knoxville includes the Space Institute in Tullahoma and the statewide Institute of Agriculture. The UT System also includes campuses in Chattanooga, Pulaski and Martin; the Health Science Center in Memphis; and the Institute of Public Service. The UT System also manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory through its UT-Battelle partnership, where Boyd serves as co-Chairman.
In 1991, Boyd founded Knoxville-based Radio Systems Corporation, a company that produces over 4,000 pet related products under the brand names PetSafe, Invisible Fence, ScoopFree and SportDOG. The company employs more than 1,400 people with offices in six countries around the world.
Boyd also owns Boyd Sports, LLC which owns the Tennessee Smokies of the Southern League. Located just east of Knoxville in Kodak, Tennessee, the Smokies are the AA minor league affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. Boyd Sports also operates teams in several other Tennessee cities, including the Johnson City Doughboys, Elizabethton River Riders, Greeneville Flyboys and the Kingsport Axmen, all of the Appalachian League. As a lifelong baseball fan, Boyd is committed to building community and creating a fun, family-friendly experience at the ballpark.
In 2007, Boyd began a journey transitioning from entrepreneur and businessman to full time public servant. Boyd is a founder and Chairman of tnAchieves, a non-profit which has helped send over 133,000 students to community college free of tuition and fees. This success led Governor Haslam to invite him to serve as Special Advisor on Higher Education in 2013. During his tenure, he is credited with being the architect of the Drive to 55 and the Tennessee Promise. In 2015, Governor Haslam recruited him back to serve as Commissioner of Economic and Community Development. During his tenure his team recruited 52,000 new jobs and $9 billion in new investment in the State. He also founded and co-Chaired the Governor’s Rural Task Force and Chaired the Governor’s Workforce Sub-Cabinet.
Randy and Jenny Boyd have dedicated their lives to giving back. In 2018, the couple formed the Boyd Foundation to further promote youth education, mental health, the arts and animal welfare. Among the Foundation’s many philanthropic commitments is the Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research and Boyd Venture Challenge seed grant program for student entrepreneurs, both through the Haslam College of Business at UT Knoxville.
Boyd is the first in his family to graduate from college. He earned a bachelor’s 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.
When not working for UT, Boyd enjoys running and has run over 85 half marathons and 47 full marathons, including one in Antarctica. But his favorite time is spent as Jenny’s husband of 37 years, father to his two sons, and being Poppi to his two granddaughters.