Four finalists named in Snow College presidential search

Public meetings with finalists January 10; presidential appointment expected January 11

After an extensive national search, the Snow College Presidential Search Committee has recommended four finalists to the State Board of Regents for the position of Snow College President: Bradley J. Cook, Steven J. Hood, Val L. Peterson, and Courtney R. White. Current Snow College President Gary L. Carlston will remain in his position through May 17, 2019.

“After receiving a great deal of public input over the past few months, the Snow College Presidential Search Committee is pleased to advance the names of these four highly-qualified finalists,” said Mark Stoddard, Regent and search committee co-chair. “We look forward to the Regents having the opportunity to fully consider these candidates as they work to select a new leader for Snow College.”

Scott Bushnell, search committee co-chair and chair of the Snow College Board of Trustees, said, “The involvement of the College’s trustees, faculty, students, and staff, along with the community as a whole, has been instrumental to this process. We appreciate their engagement and thank them for their valuable participation.”

The 22-member search committee has spent several months soliciting input through public meetings and in-person interviews. The Board of Regents will interview the following finalists (listed here in alphabetical order):

Bradley J. Cook is the Provost at Southern Utah University, and is an alum of Snow College and a native of central Utah. He has worked to establish SUU as a national leader in student-centric, highly applied learning environments, and has advanced an agenda of internationalizing the university. Under his leadership, SUU has achieved record high student success rates, created over 25 new academic programs and centers, and elevated SUU’s academic reputation as one of the premier public regional universities in the Intermountain West. Prior to his current position, he served as President of the Abu Dhabi Women’s College in the United Arab Emirates, and eight years at then-Utah Valley State College as Vice President of College Relations and later as Vice President of Academic Affairs. Cook has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Stanford University and a doctorate from the University of Oxford.

Steven J. Hood has served as the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Snow College since 2013. Prior to his current role, he spent 27 years at Ursinus College in Pennsylvania as a professor of politics. At Ursinus, he served as department chair, assistant dean, and director of the first-year liberal education program. In addition to academics, Hood was part of a team that worked with underrepresented student groups from rural and urban areas in Pennsylvania. He was awarded two Fulbright Fellowships (Taiwan and Peru), the Laughlin Award for Scholarship (1993), and the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching (2001). Hood holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Brigham Young University and a doctorate from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Val L. Peterson is the Vice President of Finance and Administration at Utah Valley University. His administrative responsibilities include facilities, finance, information technology, general counsel, emergency services, athletics, and internal audit. Peterson started at then-Utah Valley Community College in 1987 and has served in a variety of capacities such as Associate Vice President for College Relations and Vice President for College Relations. He retired from the Utah National Guard as a Brigadier General after 32 years of service. He currently serves in the Utah House of Representatives from District 59. Peterson has a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University, a master’s degree from the United States War College, and a doctorate from Brigham Young University.

Courtney R. White is the Chief of Staff at Dixie State University where he advises the President, plays an integral campus leadership role, and supervises the strategic plan implementation focused on student success and access. Since 2014 he has been adjunct faculty with the Southern Utah University Masters of Public Administration program. He previously served as the lobbyist for the University of Oregon and held a similar external relations position with the Utah Education Association. His prior professional assignments include work at the Nevada, Oregon, and Utah Systems of Higher Education, most recently as an Assistant Commissioner. He earned an associate’s degree from Snow College, a bachelor’s degree from Utah State University, a master’s degree from the University of Utah, and a law degree from the University of Oregon. He is from Ephraim.

Next steps

The finalists will be on the Snow College Ephraim campus on Thursday, January 10, 2019, to meet with groups representing faculty, staff, students, trustees, and administration. Each finalist will participate in a public meeting the afternoon of January 10, where attendees from the Snow College community and the general public will have the opportunity to ask questions of the candidates.

Public meeting schedule

Snow College – Huntsman Library, Auditorium

141 East Center Street, Ephraim, Utah

1:00 – 1:50 p.m. Steven J. Hood

2:00 – 2:50 p.m. Val L. Peterson

3:00 – 3:50 p.m. Bradley J. Cook

4:00 – 4:50 p.m. Courtney R. White

More information on the public meetings is available at

On Friday, January 11, 2019, the Board of Regents will interview the finalists in a closed session. The board may convene a public meeting at Snow College—Noyes Building, Founders Hall—at 5:30 p.m. that day to select the president. However, it may convene at another time, which will be announced at a later date.

About Snow College
Visit to learn more about Snow College.

About the Utah System of Higher Education
The Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) is governed by the Board of Regents and is comprised of Utah’s eight public colleges and universities. The CEO of USHE is the Commissioner of Higher Education. For more information, visit

Media Inquiries

Trisha Dugovic
Communications Director