Recommendation Received for Georgia Tech Presidency
Atlanta — February 9, 2009
Dr. G.P. “Bud” Peterson
Board of Regents Chair Richard Tucker and University System of Georgia Chancellor Erroll B. Davis Jr., have announced the name of the finalist for the Georgia Institute of Technology presidency, Dr. G.P. “Bud” Peterson.
Dr. Peterson currently serves as chancellor of the University of Colorado at Boulder, a position he has held since 2006. The university has 30,000 students, annual sponsored research of approximately $280 million, and a $1 billion annual operating budget.
He is credited with stepping into the University of Colorado at Boulder chancellorship at a crucial time in the institution’s history and positively correcting its course. The university had endured a reputation-damaging football scandal and the Ward Churchill research misconduct controversy just prior to Peterson’s arrival in mid-2006. He has been lauded for successfully leading the university beyond these harmful episodes and developing a shared vision – the university’s “Flagship 2030 Strategic Plan” – that will carry the university forward into the next two decades.
Peterson earned bachelor of science degrees in mechanical engineering and mathematics from Kansas State University, Manhattan. He earned a master of science degree in mechanical engineering from Kansas State University and a Ph.D. in the same discipline from Texas A&M University, College Station. He was a “walk on” receiver on the Kansas State football team, who earned a scholarship and started at the position for three varsity seasons.
Peterson’s post-Ph.D. academic career has been spent at three institutions, not counting a one-year assignment with the National Science Foundation in 1993-94. He worked for 19 years at Texas A&M, where he served as head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering for three years (1993-96) and executive associate dean of engineering for four years (1996-2000). Peterson also had the title of associate vice chancellor for the Texas A&M University System from 1996-2000.
He was recruited to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, as provost in July 2000. Peterson served in this capacity until 2006 when he accepted the position of chancellor at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Peterson also has worked as a research scientist for the NASA-Johnson Space Center in Houston, and in the private sector for Black & Veatch Consulting Engineers in Kansas City, Missouri. He taught mathematics and science in several Kansas high schools early in his career.
Peterson is widely published in the field of phase change heat transfer and is a fellow of both the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). He was recently appointed to the National Science Board. He and his wife, Val, have four grown children.
The Board of Regents expects to name the next president of Georgia Tech at a future meeting.