Utah Board of Higher Education Appoints Geoffrey Landward as Interim Commissioner of Higher Education and Commences National Search

Headshot of Geoffrey Landward

During its meeting today, Sept. 13, 2023, the Utah Board of Higher Education appointed Geoffrey Landward as interim commissioner and announced it will commence a comprehensive national search for the next Utah commissioner of higher education following the resignation of Commissioner Dave R. Woolstenhulme.

Incoming Interim Commissioner Landward has been with USHE for eight years. In his most recent role, he served as deputy commissioner and secretary to the Utah Board of Higher Education. In addition to over a decade of public policy work, he has extensive executive leadership experience and 20 years of legal expertise in administrative law, education law, and employment law. He is a graduate of the J. Reuben Clark Law School of Brigham Young University.

“Geoff Landward has extensive experience and relationships within Utah’s higher education system and is a trusted leader,” said Amanda Covington, Utah Board of Higher Education chair. “We appreciate his willingness to serve in this interim capacity and provide stewardship as we launch a search for the next commissioner. The board is committed to a seamless transition and will continue to work on key objectives as outlined by the governor, the state legislature and our stakeholders. We are focused on student success and ensuring collaboration across the system to support our workforce partners and the broader community. We thank Commissioner Woolstenhulme for his service.”

“It has been a privilege to work alongside Utah’s talented higher education community and those who impact student outcomes,” said Woolstenhulme, who has decided to pursue other professional opportunities. “I am proud of our collective accomplishments, including the recent merging of two systems. We have incredible leaders in each of our institutions and they are fully committed to their respective missions. I am grateful for my time at both the institutional level and the Commissioner’s office.”

Previous commissioners of higher education: G. Homer Durham (1969-1976), T.H. Bell (1976-1981), Arvo Van Alstyne (1981-1985), Wm. Rolfe Kerr (1985-1993), Cecelia H. Foxley (1993-2003), Richard E. Kendell (2003-2007), William (Bill) A. Sederburg (2008- 2012), David L. Buhler (2012- 2019) and Dave R. Woolstenhulme (2019-2023).

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Trisha Dugovic
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