President Matthew Holland gave his first State of The University address to a house packed with students and faculty members in the Ragan Theater on Feb. 11. There were many questions, but it seemed this scholarly president had a lot of answers.
His speech centered around three main topics: the need for a new science building, budget cuts and the legislative process and lastly what he called “getting serious.” Before he got into those topics, Holland started with a David Letterman trademark; a top ten list of observations he has made about UVU.
The items in his list included the remark that there are more people named Val at UVU than any other place he has been. Number six on the list was that the number of calories he has consumed as president is equal to that of the national debt and four was the realization that Cory Duckworth does not laugh when you ask him, “What’s a duck worth these days?”
As Holland moved closer to the bottom of the list, he got a little more serious. Two was his love of the abundant amount of “smart and generous personnel” focused on student success at UVU. His number one was that no matter what hits this university, “it remains an institution undaunted, an institution forging ahead, getting better at what it does every single day.”
“Central to this institution is it’s commitment to community engaged learning, and under the leadership of Jack Christiansen the foundation for community engaged learning has grown,” Holland said about the core values of the university.
Holland went on to show a video clip that he plans on showing investors and legislators about the great need for a new science building. The video included important topics such as the rise in enrollment in the science programs.
“This is the year to fight for the new science building,” Holland said.
Later, in answering a question about what he meant by the need to “get serious,” Holland replied, “This has a lot to do with academic rigor and increasing the standards for the faculty and the students, but it’s also more general. We’re serious about everything, right down to our manicured lawns.”