Students voice concerns to the Presidential Transition Committee

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Photos by Lincoln Op’t Hof

The Presidential Transition Committee sent four representatives to the Student Voice forum to gain student feedback and to ensure a smooth transition from one president to the next, April 3 at Centre Stage.

Unlike the Presidential Search Committee, the Presidential Transition Committee is transparent with their process of sending President Holland off gracefully. They hope to ensure that the next president is everything they need in order to best serve UVU, according to a committee member, Jonathan Westover, an associate professor of organizational leadership.

“President Holland gave us a directive or a charge to make sure we continue the momentum of UVU,” Justin Jones, a co-chair of the Presidential Transition Committee and Chief of Staff, said. “He doesn’t want his leaving to impact any of the great things that are happening across the university.”

Fern Cake, the committee co-chair and chemistry department chair, felt honored to be a part of the committee and work with members from various academic backgrounds.

“The rest of the committee was chosen for their specific skill sets and the groups of UVU and the community that they serve,” Cake said. “It’s very important in this transition to serve all the community students, facility, staff and the people who donate money, and all the other groups.”

Panelists asked students in attendance to share their concerns for the new president, what they hope to see continue and where they want to see change.

Panelists answer student questions and concerns at the Student Voice Forum.

Many participants expressed a concern for a lack of school pride — evident in low attendance to events and students wearing merchandise on campus from other universities, sustainability aspects that need improving, a need for campus housing and an increase of diversity and inclusion efforts.

Marc Reynolds, the future UVU Student Association student body president and a senior in outdoor recreation management, offered a suggestion to increase school pride not only on campus but in the community as well.

“One thing that I would love the new president to know is that we need to involve the community more with UVU,” Reynolds said. “I think focusing on the community will help school pride a lot.”

Reynolds also mentioned that very few businesses in Orem have a UVU flag or UVU merchandise available, which he views as an issue and evidence that we don’t involve the community enough.

“This is a huge university and a huge organization with a lot of moving pieces,” said Westover. “So, we just need to make sure that the new president is ready to come on board knowing those pieces and how to navigate the systems and bureaucracy and relationships. That is really our main goal.”

UVUSA vice president of academics, Chelsea Kraczack, said she has been very impressed with the committee’s willingness to listen to the needs of the students.