Carrie Laudie | News Editor | @carrielaudie
Photos by | Gabi Campbell | Photo Editor
On Tuesday, Feb. 10, President Matthew S. Holland delivered the state of the university address. Holland outlined the university’s past, present and the goals the administration has for the future. He emphasized the importance of making UVU efficient, with projected enrollment increasing to 40,899 by 2020, while continuing the school mission to promote student success through a serious, inclusive and engaged leaning environment.
In the past few years the campus has expanded at an incredible rate, with a new science building, library, child care center, student life and wellness center and the new classroom building added to campus. Last week Holland announced that 15.4 million dollars have been raised to build a new performing arts center.
“A major missing piece of a serious university is that we do not have a center for performing and visual arts on this campus. We do know that the hurdle was high – we knew that going into it – it’s one of the reasons we haven’t been able to tackle it sooner, we had to take care of some other priorities first. I’m grateful to the college of arts for being so patient and supportive as we pursued some of those activities, but it’s their turn. And we have to get this done,” said Holland.
In the last year UVU has hired 51 salaried faculty members, which has improved the adjunct to salaried ratio to 54 percent of faculty being salaried. This is the highest that ratio has ever been, with a goal for the minimum ratio for the university to maintain of 55 percent. UVU has added 47 salaried staff positions, which include academic advisors, engaged learning support, academic and administrative IT support, along with a search for a general counsel for the university.
In the 2013-2014 school year, UVU had a record number of graduates, with 5,258 students graduating – an increase of 1,503 awards since 2009. The population of Utah is expected to nearly double by 2050 and the population of Utah County is expected to increase by 136 percent. With 72 percent of high school graduates in Utah County who choose to pursue higher education attending UVU, the number of students who enroll will continue to increase.
One of the biggest obstacles UVU has in the face of the high projected rate of enrollment is finding how to expand. Holland discussed the other properties in the county that the university owns and the integral part they will be in continuing the success of the university.
Holland ended his address with a tribute to Becky Lockhart, who was an important part in many of the important expansions that have happened over campus. In lieu of flowers after her untimely death earlier this year, a scholarship was set up in her name for the center for constitutional studies.
“My challenge to you today is to channel the spirit of Becky Lockhart. And to say I’m going to get involved…if you’re not, get involved. Or get involved with even more energy, with even more initiative, with even more thought about how you can improve the area where you are. And make it happen,” said Holland.
Carrie is the Editor in Chief for the 2015-2016 school year.