VP of student affairs leaving UVU for a school president position

Long-standing UVU administrator, Michelle Taylor, has accepted a position as the president of the Institute of Clinical Social Work in Chicago, and she will begin her work there Sept. 5.

UVU president Matthew Holland announced Taylor’s departure, in an email to the campus community on Aug. 22.

“Michelle has been a great asset to UVU making significant contributions to the university as we have grown from a small state college to a full-fledged university,” Holland stated in the email.

According to Taylor, she was first drawn to what was then UVSC by the atmosphere among students, staff and faculty.

“I remember there was so much excitement in the halls,” Taylor said. “The students were happy to be here. I could tell they were thriving. I just thought “Wow, I would love to work in this atmosphere.””

Taylor now looks forward to using her education and experience, which was gained through occupying several positions at UVU, to meet the demands of her new position.

“When I read the job description I thought, “Wow, that sounds like me,” Taylor said. “They wanted someone who had a Ph.D. in social work. They wanted someone who had background in enrollment management, and I had spent 10 years as the associate vice president for enrollment management. They wanted someone who had been able to put programs together and market those programs. It just seemed like the job description was written just for me, and so I decided “What the heck, I’m going to apply for this.””

Alexis Palmer, associate vice president and dean of students, has worked with Taylor for 14 years in various positions relating to student affairs.

“I saw her, not as my supervisor, but as my mentor,” Palmer said. “She is all about inclusive leadership. She is always finding ways to get us all together and to move forward the mission of student affairs. She is very passionate about her work, but what I love the most again is that she was a mentor. And she loved what she did. She believed in what she did and she was an incredible advocate for student life.”

Comments about Taylor’s leadership and caring, positive nature were common themes at the farewell event held at Centre Stage on Wednesday.

Stephen Caruso, employee at first-year services and GEAR UP, spoke about his admiration for Taylor from multiple one-on-one meetings with her.

“Michelle Taylor, on numerous occasions, met with me to have meetings or chats regarding my future in education and specifically attending graduate school,” Caruso said. “She gave me advice and more importantly her time of many hours just to chat about my needs, which had nothing to do with her job description.”

Elizabeth Bowen, a senior in speech communication, has been interning for Taylor since May 2017, but has known Taylor since her freshman year.

“I’ve been able to look up to her and see all the amazing things, and she is always so friendly and positive,” Bowen said. “So that is one of the reasons I was like “I would love to intern with her.” Since working with her, I’ve been able to experience that firsthand, and have been able to be on the receiving end of her generosity and goodness.”

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