When former Pres. William Sederburg accepted his new position as the seventh commissioner of higher education for the state of Utah, the search for an interim president began.

The Board of Regents appointed Liz Hitch, who will assume her new duties on Aug. 18. Hitch was the vice president of academic affairs. She has been with UVU since July 1, 2007, and has over 35 years of experience in higher education.

She also has experience from an eight-month stint as interim chancellor at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

“Dr. Hitch is the logical fit for this position at this critical juncture in the institution’s history,” said Sederburg in a press release. “She has vast experience building graduate programs and already has experience serving in a presidential role. I look forward to working with her in this capacity.”

Hitch has a vision of UVU continuing to serve the community as an engaged learning institution. She believes that UVU will attract a number of candidates to be considered for the president position.

“At UVU, we have a clear plan and vision for the future based upon our model for engaged learning,” Hitch said in a press release. “We’re not going to miss a beat as we work on the strategic directions that have been endorsed by University faculty and staff, the Trustees, and our community partners. There is a lot of energy at Utah Valley, and we are going to apply that energy to enhancing our service to the community as an engaged learning institution. Our enthusiasm and success will attract a great pool of candidates to be considered for the presidency at Utah Valley University.”

Hitch has a doctorate degree in educational psychology from the University of Michigan and baccalaureate and master’s degrees in family ecology from Michigan State University.

“I am confident Dr. Hitch will ensure there is a smooth transition at Utah Valley University,” said Board of Regents Chair Jed Pitcher in a press release. “The University plays a critical role in meeting the higher education needs of central Utah. Liz is a highly qualified leader who will maintain the University’s progress.”

While Hitch fulfills her duties as interim president, the Board of Regents will have a UVU presidential search committee working toward finding candidates for the next president of UVU.