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Lee Trover Todd, Jr. (born May 6, 1946 in Earlington, Kentucky) is currently the 11th president of the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky. Todd is also a well-known inventor and entrepreneur.


Early life and education

Todd was born in 1946 in Earlington, Kentucky, a small town close to Madisonville. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Kentucky in 1968. He went on to earn his master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1970 and 1973. Todd studied at MIT thanks in part to a fellowship from the Hertz Foundation[1], following a personal encouragement from Edward Teller. He returned to UK in 1974 and served as an electrical engineering professor until 1983.

Inventing and Entrepreneurship

Todd left UK in 1983 to focus on two companies he founded: Projectron Inc. and DataBeam Corp. Projectron made projection cathode ray tubes for flight simulators, and DataBeam provided real-time collaboration and real-time distance learning software and development platforms. In July 1990, Todd sold Projectron to Hughes Aircraft Co., and in June 1998 he sold DataBeam to IBM. Todd owns six US patents in the area of high-resolution display technology.

Career at UK

Todd continued to serve at IBM as a Senior Vice President until May 2001, at which point he left to become the president at the University of Kentucky. His term at UK officially began on July 1, 2001. Since taking over the presidency, Todd has directed the consolidation of several colleges and campus units and emphasized the university’s role as an economic engine in the state. He has also played a key role in the Top 20 Business Plan, a plan designed by the university and the state in 1997 with the goal of making UK a top 20 research university by the year 2020 (they currently rank 35th). Todd recently had his contract at UK extended through 2011.


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