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During her first six months as president, Ruth V. Watkins has visited with campus and community members, toured the state and recruited a new leadership team.

Since becoming the 16th president of the University of Utah just six months ago, President Ruth V. Watkins has been busy visiting with campus and community partners around the state, connecting with students and recruiting a new leadership team. Watch her latest video or read the transcript to hear about her summer road trip through Utah and meet Daniel A. Reed, senior vice president for Academic Affairs; Michael L. Good, senior vice president for Health Sciences, CEO of University of Utah Health and executive dean of the School of Medicine; and Mark Harlan, the new athletic director.

“It was a tremendous experience to preside over commencement in 2018—celebrating graduation of more than 8,500 students. How fortunate I am to lead at this time of great acceleration at the University of Utah.

As I have met with and spent time with various groups and departments and units within the university, I am hearing tremendous energy and optimism for the future.

This summer has provided a wonderful opportunity to visit parts of Utah that I have not seen previously—where we talked with people who so deeply value University of Utah graduates.

The voices of individuals who care about the success of the University of Utah has been so valuable to me. I have learned a lot about our beautiful state.

I have been quite busy in the past months in recruiting talented people to join the University of Utah leadership team.

Dan Reed joined us from the University of Iowa. He’s had extensive experience in higher education, and one of the things he did in his career is spend five years as a vice president at Microsoft. I think his expertise in computing makes him a great individual to lead now at the University of Utah.

Mike Good is joining us from the University of Florida. He served as the dean of medicine for many years—very well prepared to lead a large, complex organization like ours.

For the athletic director position, as with our other senior leadership positions, we conducted a national search, and we are so fortunate to have found a wonderful experienced leader in Mark Harlan. Mark is joining us from the University of South Florida. His extensive experience as an athletic director makes him very, very well suited to lead at the U Athletics now.

[It is] quite exciting for all of us to embark on this journey together. The opportunity to lead and to move—accelerate the progress of the University of Utah—is thrilling for all of us.”