A little over one year ago, President Holland arrived during the transitional phase between a state college and a fully developed university.
Through strong leadership and with a constant eye on the mission set before him, Holland shaped a serious and engaged, yet inclusive, institution. He has built a strong university, even while wading through troubling economic times.
“The biggest challenge, which is a good challenge, is wrestling with the decision about what we are going to do with all the growth, as we are striving to be serious and become a better and better university. There’s a companion challenge to that, which is the state of our resources. We came out much better than I thought we would, but it’s a constant worry, how to get the necessary resources to be able to handle this many students,” Holland said.
Though institutions all over the state, including UVU, have faced massive budget cuts over the year, Holland has been able to do much with what he’s got. One notable and significant accomplishment has been that of securing the funds to build a much-needed new science building.
“What I love about it is that now, in addition to having the events center and the baseball diamond as the front face of campus, you also have the library and the science building that gives this wonderful academic feel to UVU,” Holland said.
One feat that may go unnoticed by many, despite its importance, is a change in policy when it comes to recruiting, hiring and training faculty.
“Universities are, by and large, human organization assets. You’ve got to hire, train and promote the right people to live up to that mission and the work we’ve done on the policy lays a good foundation. It’s one of those things that would be easy to miss. It’s not as grand as a new science building, in terms of recognizing a contribution, but it will have more lasting ramifications for the kind of place that UVU becomes over the years in its effort to become a serious university,” Holland said.
Holland has gone to great lengths recently to attain some great new faculty members as a shuffle in his presidential cabinet. The needs of the university have required administrative changes to fill the vacancies and accommodate the growth of the university.
The reshaping done this past year and during the recent months is being done to help facilitate the needs of the community and state, as well as to help build a stronger university as it moves forward and continues to grow.
“We are poised with a stellar team that is aligned with our mission and a reasonable sense of responsibility that will really take us forward in the coming year,” Holland said.