University of Utah — President

The Utah Board of Higher Education invites nominations and applications for the position of President of the University of Utah, the state’s flagship institution of higher education and one of 16 institutions within the Utah System of Higher Education.

The University of Utah was founded in 1850, and its main campus is located in Salt Lake City on the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains, neighboring seven world-class ski resorts. Its Utah and international campuses serve more than 33,000 students from across the U.S. and around the world. With more than 90 major subjects at the undergraduate level and more than 100 major fields of study at the graduate level, the university prepares students to live and compete in the global workplace. The U, with its emphasis on sustainability and environmental responsibility, encourages an active, holistic lifestyle and collaborative thinking to engage students, faculty and business leaders.

The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Utah as an R1: Doctoral University-Very High Research Institution. In 2019, the University of Utah was invited to join the prestigious Association of American Universities, which requires its member institutions to engage at the highest levels of research, scholarship and education. Notably, in fiscal year 2020, the university obtained a historic high of $603 million in research funding, which benefits higher education, the state of Utah and society as a whole by creating new knowledge, jobs and patents. In 2017, the Milken Institute recognized the U as No. 1 in its Best Universities for Technology Transfer listing. The U is also a member of the Pac-12 Conference.

The U leads not only in research but in instruction and innovation as well, including in its nationally heralded health care system. For the sixth consecutive year, the University of Utah Hospital was ranked No. 1 in Utah and the Salt Lake City metro area by U.S. News & World Report. With strong community ties, the university’s nationally ranked colleges of Health, Nursing, and Pharmacy and schools of Dentistry and Medicine provide tens of thousands of hours of service yearly to Utahns—visiting more than 20 rural communities as part of the Rural & Underserved Utah Training Experience in 2020. Unique among its peers, the university’s health sciences campus and principal campus are contiguously located, providing unparalleled opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration and discovery.

The president is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Utah Board of Higher Education and—with oversight from the university’s Board of Trustees—is responsible for the overall administration of the university. The successful candidate must be committed to preserving, fostering and expanding the University of Utah’s distinguished legacy of research and scholarship; accordingly, candidates will have demonstrated success in a leadership role, preferably at a research university. Ideal candidates will also have a proven record of scholarly achievement in higher education, experience and success in fundraising, and leadership qualities essential for leading a large, culturally diverse and complex academic and research institution. The university’s foremost priority is student success. Successful candidates must demonstrate how they will provide all students with academic rigor and impactful experiences while nurturing strong student, staff and faculty relationships.

The university is committed to equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism, which is central to its mission and is evident throughout its campuses and curriculum. Candidates must be inclusive in their methods and perspectives and create a culture where these practices can flourish and develop leadership across races, genders and cultures. The next president of the university must be committed to cultivating environments of intellectual engagement and exploration that are supportive of and safe for all university community members.

Ideal candidates will also recognize that the university has grown to serve more than just its students but surrounding communities as well. The next president must excel at developing strong public-private partnerships, establishing critical relationships with government and community leaders and donors, and providing collaborative leadership alongside colleagues within the System. The next president will be expected to expand the reputation, visibility and influence of the University of Utah nationally and internationally. A terminal degree or equivalent is required. For more information, please visit 

Application materials should include a current curriculum vitae and a letter addressing how the candidate’s experiences match the position requirements. WittKieffer is assisting the University of Utah in this search. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by May 13, 2021. Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal. Nominations and inquiries can be directed to: Zachary A. Smith, Ph.D., John Thornburgh and Amy Crutchfield at: 

The Presidential Search Committee will begin reviewing candidate nominations and applications in May 2021. This process will offer full confidentiality for all candidates, until the point where finalists are selected and publicly identified.

For more information about the university, visit To learn more about the Utah System of Higher Education, visit 

The University of Utah is an Equal Opportunity Employer.