Four university president candidates present to campus community

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Utah State Board of Regents scheduled to vote on next president Friday April 20

The final candidates for the next UVU president presented at an open meeting and Q&A in the Clarke Building auditorium April 20. The Utah StateBoard of Regents are anticipated to vote and select the next UVU president April 20 at 5:45 p.m. The announcement will take place at Centre Stage, located on the first floor of the Sorenson Building.

The candidates were asked pre-selected questions and questions from members of the campus community.

John R. Rosenberg (pictured above)

John R. Rosenberg currently acts as the associate director of the BYU Faculty Center and is responsible for training academic administers. He has also served as the dean of BYU’s college of humanities from 2005 to 2015 and has been an instructor at BYU and Cornell University teaching Spanish literature and civilization.

When he attended BYU, he double majored in Psychology and Spanish and earned his Ph.D. at Cornell University.

Rosenberg says he sees the benefits in bigger class sizes. “Small classes by definition are classes that very few students can take,” he said. “It may be that a large class is actually the  most effective way to have the greatest number of students be influenced by our most dynamic faculty.”

Rosenberg says UVU’s growth could be problematic if it’s funding doesn’t grow with the student population. “We got to be really aggressive in making sure that there is real capital behind every admitted student.”

Brad Cook speaks at the Clarke Building, April 19, 2018.

Bradley J. Cook

Brad J. Cook said he’s proud to be from Utah County and graduated from Payson High School.

Cook, the most well known of the candidates, currently serves as Southern Utah University’s provost and executive vice president. Cooke, who was the former president of the Abu Dhabi Women’s College from 2006-09, has history at UVU.

Back when UVU was known as Utah Valley State College, he served as the school’s vice president for academic affairs, and was a professor of history and politics science. Cook received his doctorate from the University of Oxford.

He acknowledged the response of the Palos Verdes housing development project and emphasized the importance of reaching out to the community and having open discussions with them “even though it might be uncomfortable at times.”

“We have to be responsive, I think we have to reach out. I think we have to have neighborhood meetings,” said Cook.

Cook talked about the 50 percent increase in underrepresented students on campus since he’s been at SUU and saw the need for a chief diversity officer position.

Matthew Wilson speaks at the Clarke Building, April 19, 2018.

Matthew J. Wilson

Matthew J. Wilson currently serves as the university president of the University of Akron in Ohio, where he was appointed president in 2016. As of February, Wilson announced he was stepping down from his president role for a faculty position.

He prioritizes a student-first approach and creative engagement with the campus community.  Wilson also served on the general counsel of Temple University’s Japan campus.

Wilson received his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Utah. He earned his Juris Doctor degree from Temple University’s School of Law in Philadelphia.

Wilson said he values the experience of undergraduate students. “You need to have those freshman seminars, you need to be able from day one to be able to connect with your faculty,” he said.

Wilson said he actively tries to find “unique and creative” ways to engage with students in order to figure out how to assist them.

Astrid Tuminez speaks at the Clarke Building, April 19, 2018.

Astrid S. Tuminez

Tuminez currently acts as a regional director for Microsoft Corporation. Prior to arriving at the world-wide tech company, she worked as the vice-dean at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore.

Tuminez said she liked UVU’s definition of diversity, which includes religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and more. She said she’d like to continue to strengthen the work started by UVU’s inclusion and diversity plan.

“There are programs here that address many aspects of diversity,” she said. “I think there’s a lot of listening to be done,” she said after meeting with UVU students about their concerns at a closed meeting where each candidate answered questions from student leaders..

Tuminez said that when it comes to managing people, providing good or bad feedback is important. She calls faculty the core of the workforce of a university.

When Tuminez was finished with her presentation she received a standing ovation from the audience.