The Utah Board of Higher Education selected Jordan Rushton as the third president of Dixie Technical College today, Sept. 15, 2022, following an extensive national search. Rushton has served as interim president of Dixie Tech since April 2022.
Rushton will assume the position on Monday, Sept. 19, 2022. He succeeds Kelle Stephens, who served as president from April 2012 – April 2022.
“I want to thank the Board of Higher Education for the trust they have placed in me,” said President Rushton. “I want to also thank our local board of trustees. We have an incredible institution that meets both student and industry needs every day. I’m humbled by the opportunity to lead this institution into a new era of higher education.”
As part of their delegated duties and responsibilities, the Dixie Technical College Board of Trustees named a 15-member search committee in July of this year. The committee spent several months interviewing and soliciting input to select the finalists who the Utah Board of Higher Education interviewed to make the final selection for Dixie Technical College president. Rushton was one of three finalists announced on Sept. 9.
“President Rushton is highly respected by employers, legislators and community members throughout Utah,” said Lisa Michelle Church, Board of Higher Education chair. “We conducted a very competitive search for the new president, and I am confident that it produced the most qualified candidate. Congratulations to Jordan Rushton as he embarks on a new leadership challenge as the President of Dixie Technical College.”
Before assuming the role as interim president, Rushton spent eight years as the vice president of instruction at Dixie Tech, overseeing the instructors, courses and curriculum across 25 accredited programs. He joined the Dixie Tech team in 2015 as the director of operations. Before coming to Southern Utah, he served as the director of public relations and outreach for the then Utah College of Applied Technology system.
Rushton is credited with bringing structure and quality into the programs at Dixie Technical College. He has managed unparalleled growth in the instructional departments. While serving as vice president of instruction, the programs grew from 189,000 student membership hours to over 450,000—an increase of 136%. During that time, the student graduation rate also increased to 84%. Rushton is known for his emphasis on education quality and recently opened the Center for Instructional Excellence on the Dixie Tech campus. The center is dedicated to providing learning and support to instructors transitioning from industry to technical education.
Rushton has additionally spent extensive time working with the legislature and seeking funding to further the mission of technical education during his career. He has substantial experience in the institutional accreditation process and has worked with college departments to ensure compliance.
“This is an exciting and momentous time for Dixie Technical College,” said Gil Almquist, Dixie Technical College Trustee and search committee chair. “President Rushton has committed nearly a decade of his professional career to Dixie Technical College—gaining institutional knowledge that will serve him well over the coming years. We are fortunate President Rushton has accepted to continue forward with Dixie Tech in this new leadership role.”
Rushton holds an undergraduate degree from Utah Valley University and a master’s degree in public administration with a higher education emphasis from Southern Utah University. He has a post-graduate certification in management from Harvard University and is currently completing his doctorate in education at Baylor University.
Dave R. Woolstenhulme, commissioner of higher education, added, “President Rushton is extremely knowledgeable about technical education and regional education and workforce needs. I look forward to continuing to work with President Rushton to enhance technical education for southern Utah students.”