A former West Virginia University administrator and theater professor is the new president of Texas Tech University.

Jon Whitmore became the Lubbock schools 14th president Sept. 1. He was provost and professor of theater arts at the University of Iowa from 1996 until his present appointment. Before that, he served six years as dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas at Austin and five years as dean of the faculty of arts and letters at State University of New York at Buffalo.

Whitmore was a member of the theater faculty at WVU from 1974-1985. During that time, he also served as chair of the Division of Theater from 1979-1983, assistant to the president from 1983-1984 and interim dean of the College of Creative Arts from 1984-1985.

He has directed more than 60 theatrical performances and produced over 50 main stage and 80 second-season productions. He has written three books and is working on a fourth one about American author and dramatist William Saroyan.

Whitmore earned his bachelors and masters degrees in speech from Washington State University and his doctorate in dramatic arts from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

His professional activities include serving as chair of the Council on Academic Affairs for the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges from 2001-2002 and as a member of the Task Force on the Future of the Humanities for the American Association of Universities from 2001-03.

He and his wife, Jennifer, are the parents of Ian, 16, and Amy, 15.

Texas Tech consists of 11 schools and colleges. In 2002, it had a total enrollment of 27,569 students.