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U President Taylor Randall creates transition team with broad campus representation

Planning is expected to begin with a comprehensive listening tour across campus.

University of Utah President Taylor Randall announced today the formation of an internal team that will prepare a transition plan for his first year as president. The Operation Bold Transition Team, named after the new president’s charge to the university to be bold in its aspirations, will meet twice a week over the next four weeks to create a carefully crafted transition plan by Sept. 1, 2021.

“I’ve asked the transition team to design a process for me to meet with every school and college over the next 90 days to listen and learn about the plans, priorities and major issues they face,” said Randall. “I also plan to meet with student and faculty leaders and leaders of U of U Health enterprise, including the Huntsman Cancer Institute and the Huntsman Mental Health Institute, to become more familiar with the challenges and opportunities we face.”

Vice President for Research Andrew Weyrich and Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute Director Natalie Gochnour will co-chair the transition team. The group includes several deans, department chairs and representatives of students, hospitals, athletics and other senior U leadership. Randall directed the team to align with and complement the U’s current strategic plan, Strategy 2025. This plan, developed in 2019 under President Ruth Watkins’ leadership, includes core values and strategic objectives for the U.

“I support the U’s existing strategic plan, which calls for the U to be a model public university and remain focused on building an equitable and inclusive campus community,” said Randall. “I’m specifically interested in drawing out three areas of focus: Research creativity and innovation, student experiences, and our One U initiative, which in addition to uniting our campus and serving all of Utah, invites all people to participate in the bounties of higher education.”

Operation Bold Transition Team members

  • Andrew Weyrich, vice president for research
  • Natalie Gochnour, director, Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute
  • Marla De Jong, dean, College of Nursing
  • Angie Fagerlin, chair, Department of Population Health
  • Julie Fritz, associate dean for research, College of Health
  • Charmelle Green, deputy athletics director for internal operations and COO, Athletics Department
  • Jeff Herring, chief human resources officer
  • Dan Lundergan, interim CEO, University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics
  • Lori McDonald, vice president for student affairs
  • Melody Murdock, director of editorial and content strategy, University Marketing & Communications
  • Jason Perry, vice president for government relations, and director, Hinckley Institute of Politics
  • José Rodriguez, associate vice president, Office for Health Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion
  • Christy Porucznik, president, Academic Senate, and professor, Department of Family & Preventive Medicine
  • Sonia Salari, president-elect, Academic Senate and professor, Department of Family & Consumer Studies
  • Charlie Saltzman, past-chair, Department of Orthopaedics
  • Laura Snow, chief of staff, Office of the President
  • Keith Squires, interim chief safety officer
  • Martell Teasley, dean, College of Social Work
  • Sylvia Torti, dean, Honors College
  • Peter Trapa, dean, College of Science
  • Mary Ann Villarreal, vice president for equity, diversity & inclusion
  • Heidi Woodbury, vice president for advancement
  • Cathy Anderson, CFO and vice president for administrative services
  • Patti Ross, chief business strategy officer
  • Phyllis Vetter, vice president and general counsel

Students, staff, faculty and other community members who wish to provide input to the Operation Bold Transition Plan can do so by emailing