Utah Senate confirms newly appointed Commissioner of Higher Education Geoffrey Landward

Headshot of Geoffrey Landward

The Utah Senate confirmed Geoffrey T. Landward as commissioner of higher education on May 15, 2024, who was appointed by the Utah Board of Higher Education on March 21, 2024, and approved by Utah Governor Spencer Cox, during Senate Floor Time at the Utah State Capitol.

“With Commissioner Landward’s extensive expertise in public policy and law, he is well-equipped to lead our state’s higher education system,” said Utah State Senate President J. Stuart Adams. “I have full confidence in his ability to collaborate effectively with the Board of Higher Education, institutional leaders and governmental partners to ensure the continued success of Utah’s higher education landscape.”

Landward previously served as interim commissioner, where he provided state-level leadership on higher education issues, including establishing legislative strategies, navigating the budget landscape and advocating for the value of higher education locally and nationally. He has supported the Board of Higher Education, institutional presidents and trustees while advancing strategic priorities through policies and partnerships. He has additionally ensured effective operations for the Utah System of Higher Education and Office of the Commissioner, while closely coordinating with the Governor’s Office.

“I am grateful for the Senate’s trust and confidence with its confirmation today. I look forward to partnering with educators, administrators, policymakers, the Board of Higher Education and industry leaders to enhance education across the state and provide exceptional opportunities for students,” Commissioner Landward added.

“The Board is honored to work alongside Commissioner Landward,” said Amanda Covington, Utah Board of Higher Education chair. “He brings incredible experience and a deep understanding of higher education in Utah. Commissioner Landward works proactively and collaboratively with all stakeholders to ensure students are prioritized and that we continue to support economic opportunities and growth.”

In addition to over a decade of public policy work, Commissioner Landward 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.

Landward is the 10th individual to serve as Commissioner of Higher Education for the Utah System of Higher Education.

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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