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A letter from Ruth V. Watkins addressing the search to fill the roles of senior vice president for Academic Affairs and senior vice president for Health Sciences.

Dear Colleagues:

As President Pershing shared last week, my tenure as the University of Utah’s 16th president will officially begin on Monday, April 2. It is a privilege to serve in this capacity and to collaborate with you in building on the positive momentum you have created. Our university has never been stronger.

We have an unprecedented opportunity to build on what has been achieved to date. I will seek opportunities to hear from you over the next several months and look forward to building the U’s vision together.

A first priority is to recruit two leaders to fill the roles of senior vice president for Academic Affairs and senior vice president for Health Sciences. I anticipate we will identify these leaders later this spring. The search processes are underway, and I am confident we will attract highly qualified, visionary and enthusiastic individuals ready to join with us in moving the institution to new heights. Thank you in advance for the role that you will play in supporting the recruitment of these leaders.

I have particularly appreciated the opportunity to work with President Pershing over the past five years. Thanks to his leadership, the University of Utah is well positioned for the future. Today, our students have access to innovative, high-quality educational experiences and increased scholarship support to aid them in crossing the finish line to the degree; our researchers and educators generate and disseminate knowledge that addresses urgent societal challenges; and our campus community — staff, students and faculty — change the world through their daily work. And, this work is advanced in campus facilities that have been transformed for 21st century education and scholarship. I know that the campus community joins me in expressing gratitude for President Pershing’s dedicated service.

I look forward to working with all of you to ensure that the University of Utah is a place that puts students first, improves the health of our community, connects research to societal needs, and supports the collaborative and entrepreneurial environment that will continue to attract talented people to our campus. It is through these efforts that we can best serve our fellow citizens as both the University of Utah and the University for Utah.


Ruth V. Watkins
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
University of Utah