Student Life

Pershing, trustees on sustainable investments
Sheryl (Sherrie) Hayashi joins the U as director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action
Benjamin C. Bromley named new chair of Physics and Astronomy
Join the Clear the Air Challenge
U alum inducted into National Army ROTC Hall of Fame


Statement from University of Utah President David W. Pershing and Board of Trustees:

We appreciate the hard work of the Academic Senate, which spent months researching and openly discussing the complicated issues of climate change and endowment investments. Environmental challenges are multilayered and complex, which make them especially difficult to solve. Like many other major universities around the country, we are not convinced that divestment from fossil fuel-heavy funds in the next five years, as the Senate has recommended, is the best method for addressing these challenges. We prefer to focus on the positive investments that can be made in a variety of contexts and wholeheartedly support the Academic Senate’s recommendations to:

  • Provide more information to employees on currently available socially responsible retirement choices.
  • Increase our investments in green loan funds.
  • Increase our use of socially responsible and environmentally sustainable investments, including a low carbon investment fund in our institutional social choice portfolio.

These measures are consistent with the university’s sustainability efforts, which include our overall goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050. We encourage everyone to explore those goals at change is one of the most pressing and difficult issues of our time and we are committed to doing our part to respond to it through our research, teaching, and operations at the University of Utah. Our efforts have benefited from longstanding relationships and continuing support from many entities, including the fossil fuel industry, and we appreciate their partnerships in addressing these difficult problems.


We are delighted to announce that Sheryl (Sherrie) Hayashi will join the University of Utah as director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (OEO/AA) on July 18, 2016. In this role, Hayashi will also serve as the university’s Title IX and ADA/Section 504 coordinator. Hayashi received her law degree from the University of Utah and is deeply committed to the principles of equal opportunity and non-discrimination. Hayashi comes to us from the State of Utah, where she has served as the Utah labor commissioner since 2006. She previously served as associate general counsel for the Labor Commission. Hayashi is an experienced and collaborative leader, with values, perspective and experience that will be of significant benefit to the university community.

We are grateful to Julie Thomas for serving as interim director of OEO/AA these past few months. Thomas has worked tirelessly to lead the outstanding OEO/AA team through this transition in leadership. We also deeply appreciate Lori McDonald, University of Utah dean of students, for her great work chairing the search committee for this important leadership position.

Please join us in welcoming Hayashi to the University of Utah.


Benjamin C. Bromley, professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Utah and notable expert in astrophysics, has been named Department Chair of Physics and Astronomy, effective July 1, 2016. Bromley joined the Department in 1998. He was the department’s associate chair starting in 2015. Student enrollments in physics and astronomy classes exceed 5,000 per year, and the department has about 300 declared physics majors and 100 graduate students.

Bromley’s own research focuses on computational and statistical methods in astrophysics. Specific topics include planet formation, evolution of black holes, and the large-scale structure of the universe. By varying the conditions of gas and dust as suggested by real observations of young stars, researchers can infer a pathway for constructing a rocky planet like the Earth.


Help the University of Utah repeat its No. 1 finish in the July 2016 Clear the Air Challenge.
The Clear the Air Challenge is all about improving air quality in Utah by eliminating unnecessary vehicle trips. By participating in the Clear the Air Challenge, employers, employees and individuals can help by driving less and driving smarter. Seek out public transportation, trip-chain, bike, walk or carpool whenever possible to campus or any of your destinations, and then log those trips on the dashboard at

Cool prizes are available for participants, but more importantly, with clearer air, we’re all winners. Get involved and get your friends to participate.

Be a champion of the challenge with your friends and colleagues. Download marketing materials, including flyers and social media ideas, for the 2016 Clear the Air Challenge through Box here.

For questions, contact the Sustainability Office at 801-585-9352.


John S. Edwards

John S. Edwards, B.S. ’63, was inducted in June into the National Army ROTC Hall of Fame. He is a distinguished alumnus of the University of Utah’s Army ROTC program.

After taking command of an Armored Cavalry Reconnaissance Platoon in the 1960s, Edwards led them in surveillance and security missions along the East-West German Border in the strategic Fulda Gap. This took place during the height of the Cold War and less than two months after John F. Kennedy was assassinated. After being honorably released from active duty, he commanded a tank company of the 81st Tank Battalion at Fort Douglas until honorably discharged.

His 30-year career in broadcast journalism began in Salt Lake City at KUTV. He then worked in Portland, Oregon, and Pittsburgh. He spent 15 years as news director at KTVX in Salt Lake City, and six years with the University of Utah Health Sciences Development Office as a director of major gifts and communications.

Edwards received a bachelor’s degree in communication and journalism from the University of Utah’s College of Humanities. He is serving his 14th year as the Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army for Utah and his 13th year as a member of the U’s Veterans Day committee.