‘The Hinckley Report’ returns

Morgan Aguilar
communications specialist, University of Utah Communications

The Hinckley Report” returns for its fifth season on Friday, Aug. 14 at 7:30 p.m. on PBS Utah.

Produced in partnership with the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics, “The Hinckley Report” provides insight and analysis into the most pressing political issues facing the state of Utah. It is hosted by Jason Perry, vice president for government relations at the U and director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics.

Perry speaks with key decision-makers, policy experts and journalists to provide Utahans with an unbiased look at the latest and most pressing political news.

You can tune into “The Hinckley Report” on your local PBS Utah station or watch past episodes online here. The show is also available as a podcast on all major platforms.

Headshot of Jason Perry and text reads, "The Hinckley Report with Jason Perry Returns August 14"

Commuter Services is moving to the Fort Douglas area

Commuter Services

The Commuter Services’ main office is moving from the Annex building to the Fort Douglas area. Our new office, located on 311 S. Fort Douglas Blvd., will open its doors to customers on Aug. 17, 2020.

Our services 

We welcome all students, faculty and staff to visit our new main office to purchase a permit, pay a ticket or ask general questions. However, we have discontinued all in-person citation appeals permanently. All citation appeals must be submitted online.

Office safety measures

Plexiglass partitions and social distancing floor markers have been installed to ensure proper distance while customers wait in line. University policy requires everyone to wear a face covering inside buildings.

Getting here by campus shuttle

Blue Route goes to the ‘Post Theater’ stop, located on the corner of Hempstead Road & Fort Douglas Boulevard, and is within walking distance of our new office. Additionally, passengers on the Circulator Route may ask the shuttle driver to stop directly in front of our office. Visit to track all campus shuttles live.

Our main office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Customers are encouraged to call our Information Center at 801-581-6415 for office directions and other inquires. Visit our website to learn more about Commuter Services.

Saving time and money with ebooks

Marriott Library

Let’s face it, students have it tough right now. Want to lighten their load by finding a textbook that won’t cost them a dime? Just ask librarian Allyson Mower if she can find a good ebook to replace that pricey old paper book.

Right now the library is providing a limited time offer to purchase e-textbooks as they are made available from the publisher. If your textbook is not available, Allyson will work with you on finding a suitable ebook replacement. More than 30 instructors have signed up for the fall semester, saving each student in a class an average of $61.

Depending upon the number of students in the class and the cost of the original book, the savings could be much higher. If you’re interested in learning more about how the library can save your students money, contact Allyson Mower at by Friday, Aug. 14.

Sustain biodiversity from your phone

Natural History Museum of Utah

Natural History Museum of Utah BioBlitz participant snaps a pic.

A BioBlitz is an event where community scientists, scientists, land managers, museum staff and more work together to find, identify and photograph as many different species as possible. This summer, the Natural History Museum of Utah is inviting the community to join three Trailside BioBlitz events, designed to get you outside, collecting data and digitally connected with the museum, while also staying safe and spatially distanced.

Verifiable, “research-grade” observations are reviewed by staff with the Salt Lake City Trails & Natural Lands Division annually to build a catalogue of species known to use and inhabit specific nature parks and preserves. These species lists are used to improve efforts to educate the public about the importance of these natural areas, and also occasionally motivate management adaptations.

Taking part is easy!

1. See nature

Join a Trailside BioBlitz by visiting one of our study sites along the Jordan River Parkway or Salt Lake City-managed sections of the Bonneville Shoreline trails during active BioBlitz dates. We have made study areas large and spread the activity dates out to promote safe outdoor recreation.

2. Take a photo

Photograph the individual wild plants, animals and insects you find on your walk.

3. Add to iNaturalist

Post your photos to iNaturalist, a free online database and phone app that catalogs worldwide biodiversity. The site will help you identify the nature you find and will record it for scientists and land managers to use for years to come. Any iNaturalist observation made within our study area boundaries during BioBlitz dates will automatically be added to our research project.

2020 Trailside BioBlitz schedule

Have questions about iNaturalist? 

Join NHMU’s Citizen Science Coordinator Ellen Eiriksson during a virtual office hour Friday, July 31. Click here to get in touch.

Who can participate in the Salt Lake City Neighborhood Naturalists?

Anyone! If you’re curious about the natural world, enjoy walking along trails and like turning over leaves and stones, this program is for you. Kids are welcome. All events are free and open to the public.

Do I need scientific knowledge or experience to participate?

Nope, although we welcome experts. Just bring your mobile device and your powers of observation. We use the iNaturalist app to document the plants and animals we find. Watch a short iNaturalist tutorial to get started and learn how to make great observations.

What do I need to bring?

  • Camera: If you plan to take photographs using your phone, bring your mobile device with the iNaturalist app downloaded and account set up. If you prefer to use a different camera, you can add your photos to iNaturalist from a computer when you get home.
  • Long pants, closed-toe shoes, a water bottle and sunscreen will help keep you safe and comfortable. You may want a daypack, jacket or hat. Feel free to also bring your favorite field guide on plants, birds, insects, etc.

What is a citizen scientist?

A citizen scientist is a person taking part in science-related activities that advance scientific knowledge or community action (National Academy of Sciences 2018).

What data has already been collected?

View our citizen science-collected data  from Neighborhood Naturalist events over the years to see what and where we have observed so far.

Partners in the parking lot

University Neighborhood Parnters
Jennifer Mayer-Glenn, director of University Neighborhood Partners (left), Laura Snow, chief of staff, and Ruth V. Watkins, president of the University of Utah

Jennifer Mayer-Glenn, director, University Neighborhood Partners (left), Laura Snow, chief of staff, Office of the President (center) and Ruth V. Watkins, president of the University of Utah (right).

Partners in the Park is a multiweek summer program designed to bring University of Utah faculty, staff, students, community partner organizations and west side residents together in local neighborhood parks. The events connect potential students with the U and other institutions of higher education and provide west side residents with access to local resources, community organizations and enriching activities.

Due to COVID-19, this summer University Neighborhood Partners adapted the program to include celebratory parades and drive-thru events. They are giving away bags filled with health resources such as masks, food items donated by the Utah Food Bank and more.

Click here for the July parade map.

Final summer events!Partners in the Parking Lot spanish language flyer

Community car parade
Aug. 10, 2020 Ι 6:30 p.m.

Northwest Middle School Drive-thru
Aug. 11, 2020 Ι from 6-8 p.m.
1730 N. 1700 West

Farmers markets canceled

Sustainability Office

The Sustainability Office has come to the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 U Farmers Market. We felt it wasn’t possible to move forward safely, and the health of our community must be a top priority. We value the community space created by the U Farmers Market, and we hope it will return in full force in fall 2021.

Still looking for fresh, locally grown produce? The Sustainability Office’s Edible Campus Gardens continue to grow food and donate it to the Feed U Pantry in the Union building. Weekly deliveries are generally done on Mondays, weather permitting. Additionally, watch our social media accounts this fall for announcements about pop-up free Produce Pickups from garden harvests.

UTA service alerts

Commuter Services

Is TRAX delayed today? Is the bus on a detour route?

Minor and significant UTA service disruptions happen frequently and often unexpectedly. This year alone, we’ve experienced public health concerns with COVID-19, an earthquake, and protests — all of which affected various UTA services.

UTA has launched a new communication tool to keep passengers informed about bus detours, significant rail delays and any system-wide disruptions. Passengers can now sign up for email or text notifications to receive service alerts about the routes they depend on the most.

You may select which route or services you’d like to receive updates for when signing up. UTA will notify subscribers when the routes are on detour, delayed, modified or disrupted. Subscribers are also notified when changes go longer than expected, and when routes return to regular service.

UTA will continue to maintain their other rider tools. You can still find out when your next bus will arrive with Ride Time and see where TRAX is with the Transit app. And of course, UTA will continue to provide frequent rail updates through Twitter and other social media channels.

Visit UTA’s website to sign up for email or text message service alerts.

Return your library items anytime

J. Willard Marriott Library

Need to return your library book, movie or video game? Use the J. Willard Marriot Library’s drop-off slot at the level 1 entrance adjacent to the Campus Store. The drop-off area is open 24/7 and once an item is returned, it quarantined for 72 hours.

The due dates on items out have already changed and will continue to adjust if necessary. If you have left the state and are not returning in the fall, please let the circulation team know and we will work out a way for you to return them. Learn more about other borrowing and circulation information on the service status page.

College of Nursing names new dean

Suzanne Winchester
University of Utah Health

Marla De Jong, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, retired colonel, a lifelong leader in the field of nursing, has been named dean of the University of Utah College of Nursing effective Aug. 17. De Jong will oversee the undergraduate and graduate programs of the college, with a focus on interdisciplinary teaching, research, clinical practice and service.

“We conducted a nationwide search for this important leadership role, and soon realized the top candidate was already here at the University of Utah,” said Michael L. Good, senior vice president for Health Sciences and CEO of U of U Health. “Dr. De Jong is a leader in her field—a lifelong researcher, clinician, and educator. She is a hard-working servant leader who focuses on faculty development and success, team collaboration and prioritizes diversity and inclusion. I am very enthusiastic about the bright days ahead for the University of Utah College of Nursing under Dr. De Jong’s leadership as dean.”

De Jong is currently a professor and chair of Acute and Chronic Care at the University of Utah College of Nursing. She supervises nearly 50 faculty members; represents division faculty on the Academic Leadership Team; and coordinates hiring, retention, and promotion activities. In addition, De Jong evaluates faculty, develops and leads college-wide faculty development programs, leads a Health Resources and Services Administration-funded project designed to improve diversity within the nursing workforce, and serves on multiple committees in the college.

“I’m incredibly humbled and honored to be selected for this key role,” De Jong said. “I’ve spent my career guiding others and I believe my experience has led me to this wonderful opportunity to continue leading and serving. My goals are to prepare future nurses, gerontologists and health care leaders to improve the health and care of individuals, families and communities within our state and country; expand academic-practice partnerships within U of U Health; attain distinction in nurse-led interdisciplinary team science that is responsive to national and state needs; and implement strategies to recruit and retain diverse faculty, enroll and graduate diverse students, and cultivate an academic culture of belonging in which faculty, staff and students of diverse backgrounds will thrive.”

Before joining the U, De Jong had an impressive career in the military, serving nearly 29 years in the U.S. Air Force and retiring Nov. 1, 2017. She served in clinical, leadership, research and academic roles, including associate dean for research and professor at the Daniel K. Inouye Graduate School of Nursing at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. She also served as the dean of the United States Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, the executive director of the TriService Nursing Research Program, the Air Force program manager for the Department of Defense Blast Injury Research Program Coordinating Office, and the Chief Military Consultant to the Air Force Surgeon General for Nursing Research. In 2006, De Jong deployed to Baghdad, Iraq, as the program manager for the Joint Theater Trauma System.

De Jong is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. She has conducted funded research studies, lectured at national meetings, and served in leadership positions for national nursing organizations. She has also served as an editorial board member for several journals and published 50 journal articles, 10 book chapters, and a book. Her work has informed and shaped leadership, research, education, health policy and military and civilian clinical practice.

De Jong is the recipient of multiple awards and honors, including the following:

  • Faculty Mentoring Award from the University of Utah College of Nursing
  • The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) Flame of Excellence Award
  • The Air Force Field Grade Nurse of the Year Award
  • The Legion of Merit Medal
  • The Defense Meritorious Service Medal
  • The Joint Service Commendation Medal
  • The Iraq Campaign Medal, and
  • The Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

De Jong was raised in Iowa and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from Grand View University in 1988. She received her MS from the University of Maryland at Baltimore in 1996 and her Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky in 2005.

She succeeds Barbara Wilson, Ph.D., RN, who has served as interim dean since 2018. “Dr. De Jong is the right person for the right time,” Wilson said. “She is uniquely qualified to lead our college at a time when we are growing our program and our reputation. She has a proven track record of partnership with our faculty and is already well respected for her leadership.”

“We are incredibly grateful to Dr. Wilson for her leadership of the college,” Good said. “She has built a strong foundation that ensures our students and faculty will continue to advance, and with their successes, the national reputation of the University of Utah College of Nursing.”

New Title IX regulations now under review

University of Utah Communications

The Office of Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Title IX is now reviewing new federal regulations pertaining to sexual assault under Title IX. Once the review is complete changes will be made to campus rules and guidelines to best protect the community and comply with the recent changes. The university remains committed to fostering a professional working and learning environment for all members of our campus community. Our policies are designed to both protect survivors of sexual misconduct and provide due process to those accused.

The university has until Aug. 14, to be in compliance with the new regulations. Anyone who has been a victim of sexual misconduct can contact the Office of Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Title IX at,801-581-8365 or report online at Survivors can also contact the Victim Survivor Advocate office at 801-581-7776 as a confidential resource on campus.