Southern Utah University — President

The Utah Board of Higher Education invites nominations and applications for the position of President of Southern Utah University—one of 16 institutions within the Utah System of Higher Education.

Founded in 1897 and located in Cedar City, Southern Utah University is a dynamic teaching and learning community inspired by its renowned natural surroundings. The University celebrates its rich history and heritage while maintaining close-knit ties with the rural community. With more than 140 undergraduate programs and 21 graduate and certificate programs across seven academic colleges, SUU offers world-class, project-based learning opportunities for its more than 14,000 students, making the University a leader in growth and academic outcomes. SUU maintains varied programs to meet unique regional needs while serving students from Utah’s 29 counties, all 50 states in the nation, and more than 68 foreign countries.

In addition to its thriving academic mission, SUU is home to the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespeare Festival, which is now the official North American partner of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. SUU has also established a growing, successful athletics program with 15 teams competing in Division I NCAA athletics, and annually hosts the Utah Summer Games. Known nationally as the University of the Parks, SUU is located within a five-hour drive from more than 20 national parks and monuments in Utah, Arizona, and Nevada.

The president is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Utah Board of Higher Education and — with oversight from the SUU Board of Trustees — is responsible for the overall administration of the University. The successful candidate must be committed to preserving, fostering, and expanding Southern Utah University’s mission to create an inclusive and innovative institution of higher education where students receive experiential education that leads to personal growth, civic responsibility, and professional excellence. Accordingly, candidates should have demonstrated success in a senior leadership role, preferably at a university. Ideal candidates should also have a proven record of achievement in higher education administration, research, teaching, fundraising, and other integral qualities needed to lead a comprehensive regional university.

Student success and well-being is the University’s foremost priority. This student-centric approach drives SUU’s most fundamental aspirations, including its commitment to ensure that every student who enrolls at SUU earns a degree. Candidates must share SUU’s dedication to student success and demonstrate how they will provide all students with academic rigor and impactful experiences while nurturing strong student, staff, and faculty relationships. Because SUU continues to grow, candidates should have articulable plans for managing sustained expansion while preserving students’ personal educational engagement.

Candidates should embrace SUU’s heritage, history, and local community presence while, at the same time, have a vision for the University’s role in an evolving and increasingly diverse national and international higher education landscape. Candidates must be equitable and inclusive in their methods and perspectives and create a culture where these practices can flourish. Candidates should show a record of success in promoting and sustaining efforts to attract and retain highly qualified and diverse faculty, staff, and students. An earned doctoral or equivalent terminal degree is desired but not required.

All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Application materials should include a current curriculum vitae and a letter addressing how the candidate’s experiences match the position requirements. 

WittKieffer is assisting Southern Utah University in this search. Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by May 2, 2022. 

A full leadership profile is available at Potential candidates desiring more information about Southern Utah University or the Utah System of Higher Education should access and


Zachary A. Smith, Ph.D., Amy Crutchfield and Lauren Bruce-Stets 

Equal Opportunity Employer