Campus community tells presidential search committee to prioritize inclusivity

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Photos by Cody Glassett

The university needs a president that will look out for minorities, according to Linda Walton, chaplain and philosophy instructor, during a presidential search committee meeting held in the Science Building Auditorium Nov. 28.

“There aren’t many minorities in Utah Valley, one might think, but there are 40 faith groups on campus,” Walton said.

Students and community shared with the 24-member search committee, comprised of representatives from the Board of Regents, trustees and institutional stakeholders, including faculty, staff, students and more, what they want the next president to be like.

“Inclusivity is one of the most important things we can focus on as a university,” Justin Marks, a psychology major and current vice president of Spectrum, the queer student alliance club, said.

Diversity and inclusivity initiatives on campus must continue and the new president should take responsibility for making that happen, according to Marks. “Inclusivity drives growth,” he said.

Jessica Hill, assistant professor in psychology, thinks it is important for the search committee to advertise the president search to women and minorities and encourage them to apply.

“I am confident that we will have many fine people who apply or who are nominated to be considered,” David Buhler, the commissioner of higher education for the Utah System of Higher Education, said.

The new president will be selected by the Board of Regents and the UVU Board of Trustees after a national search is completed. A president should be selected by mid-2018, but more time will be used if necessary.

“I think this is also going to be a very exciting process and I think change is always good, for the most part,” said Elaine Dalton, chair of the Board of Trustees.

“We, as a committee, are honored to have this responsibility,” Dalton said. “I’ll just make you a promise that we’ll make you proud.”

UVU student and other Community member gather to discuss what they are looking for in a new university president.