STATE BOARD OF REGENTS
UNIVERSITY OF UTAH, SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH
S.J. QUINNEY COLLEGE OF LAW AND STADIUM
JANUARY 18, 2018
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
Daniel W. Campbell, Chair
Harris H. Simmons, Vice Chair
Jesselie B. Anderson
Nina R. Barnes
Wilford W. Clyde
Marlin K. Jensen
Robert W. Prince
Harris H. Simmons
Mark R. Stoddard
Joyce P. Valdez
Thomas E. Wright
Robert S. Marquardt
Office of the Commissioner
David L. Buhler, Commissioner of Higher Education
Chair Campbell called the meeting to order at 8:05 a.m.
It was moved by Regent Stoddard and seconded by Regent Banres to meet in Executive Session for the sole purpose of discussing the character and professional competence of the applicants for the University of Utah Presidential Search. The motion carried. The Regents met in executive session from 8:05 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Chair Campbell called the Board of Regents Committee of the Whole to order again at 5:30 p.m.
Chair Campbell recognized on the stand members of the Board of Regents and the Executive Committee of the University of Utah Trustees. He recognized other Trustees in the audience, President Hufatlin from Salt Lake Community College, donors and supporters, faculty, staff, and students of the University of Utah. Chair Campbell expressed sincere appreciation to President and Dr. Pershing for their contributions and service to the university, specifically the last six years serving as President.
Chair Campbell noted a few months ago President Pershing announced he would be returning full-time to academia and said “He is a gifted scholar and teacher, and the University is truly fortunate to have him return to that work. The last five years have been a time of transformation for the University, with its statue, scholarship, student body and state-wide impact eclipsing an already impressive history. President Pershing’s strong and steady leadership has guided the University beyond even the most optimistic expectations. We are grateful for his service and dedication on behalf of this institution.”
He also noted the months of work it takes for the search of a new president. He recognized the work of the search committee, chaired by Regent Harris Simmons and Trustee Chair H. David Burton. He asked the Search Committee to stand and be recognized. He asked President Pershing to stand and be recognized. Chair Campbell said “Commissioner Buhler’s Office managed the search; we would like to thank the Commissioner’s staff and others here at the University, with particular thanks to Geoff Landward, Loreen Olney, and from the university, Laura Marks, who pulled off the massive undertaking and coordination to make this all possible.” He then turned the time to Regent and Co-chair of the search committee, Harris Simmons.
Regent Simmons noted it has been a great honor and privilege to be a part of the search for the next president of the University of Utah. He thanked students, staff, faculty, and others who participated in the process, as well as members of the Search Committee, the Board of Trustees and especially Chair Burton, the Board of Regents and staff of the Utah System of Higher Education. He said it is a testament of the stellar reputation of the University of Utah across the nation that we had a huge response to the call for candidates and noted all of the finalists were exceptional.
Trustee Vice-Chair Phil Clinger said on behalf of Trustee Chair Burton and fellow trustees, he would like to publically thank the State Board of Regents for facilitating trustee engagement in the process of selecting the next president.
University of Utah Presidential Appointment
Regent Simmons, Chair of the Search Committee, moved to appoint Ruth V. Watkins as the next president of the University of Utah. It was seconded by Regent Jones. The motion carried unanimously.
President and Mr. Watkins were introduced to the audience. Chair Campbell noted President Watkins was chosen from an outstanding national and international field of candidates. She is an accomplished scholar and teacher, and her tenure at the University has the hallmarks of a true leader. We were fortunate when President Watkins came here from the University of Illinois and we are even more fortunate now that she will serve as this institution’s president.
Commissioner Buhler welcomed President and Mr. Watkins and said it his honor, on behalf of the Utah System of Higher Education, to welcome President Watkins as the new member of the Council of Presidents.
President Watkins said “I’m so honored to have the opportunity to join with you in leading this great institution forward.” She expressed her appreciation to the Board of Regents, Board of Trustees, and the many people in the institution who have been a part of this conversation over the past months. She said it is the people of the university, the people connected to the university that make this a great institution. She said she is grateful to have this opportunity to work with everyone to continue the positive trajectory of this institution, and to be part of something as important as the mission of higher education.
On a motion from Regent Barnes the Committee of the Whole was adjourned