With President Matthew Holland getting ready to leave to serve as a mission president for the LDS church, people are beginning to wonder who the next president could be and if the new president will have the same or different ideas than those of Holland. The university is at a crossroads, but if the presidential search committee plays it right, Holland’s leaving could be advantageous for the university.
It is no secret that more than a few disagree with statements and actions Holland has made in his position as university president at UVU. One of the most public, and perhaps the most pressing, is Holland’s fight against marriage equality. Although it is fine for citizens to have their views on marriage equality or other political issues, Holland’s views as the face of the university have been damaging to UVU’s reputation, by suggesting a less-inclusive university than what is advertised in the mission statement.
That being said, perhaps having a new president would give the university a chance to live up to its mission statement of being diverse and inclusive, rather than having one comfortable with picking and choosing which of those ideas to support.
The university has a Presidential Search page on UVU’s website where one can submit names of people for the search committee to consider. It also gives information on the committee and what they are looking for in their candidates. The committee says on the page that they are looking for a president who can build relationships and has the experience, and that they are open to anyone with the listed qualifications.
The announcement page states, “Candidates should value the richness of opportunities to engage in UVU’s increasingly diverse population and possess a commitment to inclusion, access, opportunity, and transformational educational experiences.”
This comment is welcoming of anyone who stands for equality. Thus, theoretically-speaking, a step forward will be made for UVU if the committee follows the qualifications they now claim to be asking for.
Regardless of one’s position on Holland and his works, it is time for a change at UVU. And with this change comes a lot of potential benefits for the university. UVU needs a leader who is true to the mission statement—one who relentlessly pursues equality for all and makes informed decisions that are best for the university, while keeping their personal views and ideations private.