New 10-member Utah Board of Higher Education holds inaugural meeting 

Senate confirms last gubernatorial appointment, Cydni Tetro 

The Utah Board of Higher Education convened its first meeting of the newly reconstituted Board, made up of 10 members, on Aug. 10 in Salt Lake City. The meeting was marked by each member taking their oath of office and the election of Amanda Covington as Chair and Steve Neeleman as Vice Chair.  

“I think this is a coalition of incredibly talented, bright and experienced people who have a passion for Utah students and families,” said newly appointed Chair Covington. “We are excited to take on the work— we recognize that it’s substantial and impactful, and I appreciate the deliberate thought and approach that Board members had today. I look forward to working with the presidents and their institutions and the Commissioner and his staff. The legislative priorities and the priorities from the governor are clear — we have a mission to do, so we’ll work very hard to accomplish that.” 

Vice Chair Neeleman added, “I was incredibly impressed with the preparation and the engagement by all the university presidents and their representatives. I am so excited to work with the Board members because they come from such a broad array of experiences, and I think we’ll be able to take the next big step with higher education in the state of Utah.” 

Following this, the Board recognized the prior Board’s achievements toward reaching its strategic plan goals. It also discussed training topics, including its duties and responsibilities, the Open and Public Meetings Act, and other statutory requirements. 

The Board had a lengthy discussion on shared services, ultimately leading to an additional motion made by Board member Tetro, passed unanimously, to have a listening session with presidents regarding their needs and wants before its next meeting in November. Prior to the listening session, presidents will provide a one-page brief to Board members. 

Late on Aug. 9, the day prior to the meeting, the Utah Senate confirmed the final gubernatorial appointment to the Board, Brandless CEO Cydni Tetro, allowing her to begin her Board service at this meeting. The Senate previously confirmed each of the other nine members on June 14, 2023. 

Action Items 

The meeting concluded with a series of necessary action items that the Board engaged in detailed dialogue on, taking into consideration the future needs of Utah’s higher education system.  

Preliminary FY2025 Budget Proposals — Approved 

University of Utah Baseball Facilities Design Phase — Approved 

The Board of Higher Education approved the planning and design for the new baseball stadium capital development project at the University of Utah, with the accompanying requirement that the University of Utah return to the Board in December 2023 for full project approval. This proposal was previously approved by the University of Utah Board of Trustees. 

Utah Education Savings Board of Trustees Appointment — Approved 

The Commissioner recommended, with the consent of the my529 Executive Director, that the Board appoint the following members to the Utah Education Savings Board of Trustees, which they approved, with terms expiring as follows: 

  • Dr. Stephen Nadauld, expiring Aug. 31, 2024 
  • Lisa-Michele Church, expiring Aug. 31, 2025 
  • Palmer DePaulis, expiring Aug. 31, 2025 
  • Arthur Newell, expiring Aug. 31, 2026 
  • Lori Chillingworth, expiring Aug. 31, 2026 
  • John Lunt, expiring Aug. 31, 2027 
  • Mark Cain, expiring Aug. 31, 2027 

Board Policy Updates Based on Recent Legislation — Approved 

General Consent Calendar — Approved 

Notable among the approvals on the consent calendar is the upcoming Board meeting schedule for 2023-24. The next meeting of the Board will be on Thursday, Nov. 30 and Friday, Dec. 1, 2023. Details regarding this meeting will be posted at as they become available. 

Additional information on each agenda item is available in Board materials at

Listen to the full meeting recording. 

Media Inquiries

Trisha Dugovic
Communications Director