KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Monday was the first day on the job for new UT President Joe DiPietro, who started the work day by having coffee with employees in Knoxville, then presided over his first president's staff meeting.

The UT system's 24th president succeeds John Petersen, who abruptly resigned in February 2009 after disagreements with board members over donors and other issues.

UT Knoxville anthropology professor Jan Simek has worked as interim president.

According to a news release from the university, once the legislative session begins, DiPietro will begin lobbying for employee pay increases and permission for the university to establish a foundation that will encompass all development functions.

The UT system includes campuses in Knoxville, Chattanooga and Martin; the Health Science Center in Memphis; state Institutes of Agriculture and Public Service; and the Space Institute in Tullahoma.

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