New place, new face, same title. Student advocate to the legislature is now Vale Hale
With this university growing and Utah’s budget for education decreasing, getting in contact with the State Legislature is more important than ever. Now there is a new liaison between the university and the state.
Val Peterson has been serving as the school’s liaison with the Utah Legislation for the past 12 years. He was, however, elected to the Utah House of Representatives in November. As a result of Peterson’s election, Val Hale will take over as liaison for the 2011 Legislation session.
Under Peterson, the school achieved university status. Understandably, he says that is the biggest achievement of his time in the position.
Peterson is currently the Vice President of Administration and Hale is the Vice President of University Relations at this university.
The reassignment of the liaison title is actually to University Relations rather than to Hale, but he will hold the position for now. Hale is not sure if he will hold the title permanently. President Holland has the choice for who will hold the position; regardless, it will remain in University Relations.
Peterson and Hale have worked together in the past, most notably to get the funding for the library on campus. Last year, with Peterson and Hale tag-teaming the effort, legislation approved the building of the future Student Life and Wellness Center.
According to Hale, the liaison’s job is “to be on Capitol Hill advocating for UVU and higher education and meet daily with legislators and other state leaders.”
“I am excited to be back on the Hill,” Hale said. “I hope to represent the university well; I hope to be a good advocate.”
Both Peterson and Hale say that students can have a big role in getting funding for UVU and higher education in general.
“Nothing is more important than talking to your representative,” Peterson said. “Get involved with the process. The system works because people get involved.”
“Students need to contact legislators to express desire to look out for UVU’s interest,” Hale said. “Find your legislator, write an e-mail, a letter or just call them and say, ‘I am a student and UVU is important’.”
There is one issue Hale wants students to focus on and that is equity funding.
“Equity funding is one key issue,” Hale said. “UVU is the least funded public university and we need to push to be equal to other schools.”