Dear campus community,
As I begin my second year as president, I want to thank you all for your support and hard work to help propel the University of Utah toward our goal of becoming a top 10 public university with unsurpassed societal impact. I also want to thank all of those who have helped in the search process for a new senior vice president for academic affairs and provost—one of the most important decisions I have made during my presidency and one that directly supports this vision.
To that end, I’m pleased to announce Dr. Mitzi M. Montoya as the new senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. Dr. Montoya will carry primary responsibility for setting the academic vision and strategic focus of the U and directing and enhancing the academic mission, including teaching and research excellence.
Dr. Montoya brings strong leadership skills to the role, including experience gained as dean of the Anderson School of Management at The University of New Mexico; provost at Washington State University; dean at the College of Business at Oregon State University; and vice president & university dean of entrepreneurship + innovation, as well as dean of the College of Technology & Innovation at Arizona State University. Dr. Montoya is a professor of marketing and received her PhD from Michigan State University.
As someone who has risen through the ranks at the U, I welcome Dr. Montoya’s extensive experience and perspective gained at other top institutions. I look forward to learning from Dr. Montoya and working alongside her, Senior Vice President for Health Sciences Michael Good, and all the U’s leaders as we progress together to become a top 10 public university.
In addition, I believe Dr. Montoya will help the U reach our other goals of becoming a national model of an equitable and inclusive university; set a national standard for enterprise-wide safety practices; become a leader in health and well-being; achieve forerunner status in sustainability; and protect open and unfettered intellectual inquiry and the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge.
I want to express what a difficult decision this was because the search committee delivered such a strong slate of candidates. I appreciate the work of the committee’s chairs, Phyllis Vetter and Stuart Culver, and its members.
I also want to thank Dr. Martell Teasley, who has served as interim senior vice president for academic affairs since last January and led the academic enterprise through a presidential transition and the continued unwinding of the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, Dr. Teasley helped advance student success and completion initiatives, overseeing the enrollment of the U’s largest freshman class; leading the creation of new and innovative degrees and certificates and a reimagining of general education; working with deans to lead the development of strategic plans for colleges and programs across campus; and managing the successful renewal of the university’s seven-year accreditation. He appointed three new deans and kicked off searches for four more. Dr. Teasley also is the lead editor and wrote a collection of essays published by Oxford University Press, “Social Work and the Grand Challenge of Eliminating Racism: Concepts, Theory and Evidence Based Approaches,” scheduled for release in April 2023.
I am grateful for Dr. Teasley’s leadership, wise counsel, and partnership during the first year of my presidency. I owe him a debt of gratitude and look forward to his continued leadership on our campus. Dr. Teasley will be returning to his previous position as dean of the College of Social Work following a well-deserved sabbatical.
I’ve asked Dr. Montoya and Dr. Teasley to team up in the weeks ahead, both to ensure a smooth transition and to continue our momentum toward becoming an exceptional, top 10 public university with unsurpassed societal impact.
I look forward with great enthusiasm to working alongside these exemplary leaders.
President Taylor Randall