HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — A former engineering dean at the University of Alabama was approved as interim president at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, the University of Alabama System said.

Trustees on Nov. 10 approved Chancellor Finis St. John’s appointment of Chuck Karr to the position.

Karr, who worked as engineering dean at the Tuscaloosa campus for 16 years, replaces Darren Dawson, who cited private family matters in stepping down after less than three years on the job at UAH, which has an emphasis on engineering and technology.

“The board of trustees and the University of Alabama System have made the success of UAH a top priority, and I am confident that Dr. Karr is well-positioned to help UAH reach its full potential,” St. John said in a statement.

The interim appointment is for at least 18 months, the system said, and Dawson will remain on the payroll until the end of the year.

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