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Utah Commissioner Of Higher Education, Four Members Exiting The Board of Regents

Photo of regents.
Utah System of Higher Education
Commissioner of Higher Education Dave Buhler, left, is stepping down after seven years. Dave Woolstenhulme, right, will serve as the interim commissioner of higher education.

Four members of Utah’s Board of Regents stepped down Friday at the board’s meeting at Snow College. Regents Teresa Theurer and Bob Marquardt had served on the board since 2008 while Dan Campbell served on the board since 2010. Student Regent Ja’Kell Larson, a University of Utah student, completed her one-year term.

The state’s Commissioner of Higher Education David Buhler is also departing from the board. Buhler became the commissioner in 2012, but has worked for the Utah System of Higher Education for a total of 19 years.

Buhler will be teaching political science at the University of Utah this fall.

“It is bittersweet because I have loved my service and yet I’m still looking forward to being able to have the opportunity to be in the classroom, teaching, working directly with students,” Buhler said.

During his tenure as commissioner, Buhler worked with the board in searching for and appointing 10 institutional presidents. He’s also focused on helping Utah’s public colleges and universities increase their student completion rates and advocated for more funding for public education.

“Higher education is critical for the future of Utah,” Buhler said.

Buhler announced in January that he would step down by the end of the year. He later moved up his end date to June 30 so he could start teaching this fall and let the interim commissioner work with regents on its budget process this summer and fall.

On Friday, the Board of Regents appointed Dave Woolstenhulme, Utah State University’s vice president of regional campuses, as its interim commissioner.

Woolstenhulme previously served as the commissioner of the Utah System of Technical Colleges that’s made up of the state’s eight regional technical colleges. Woolstenhulme said he’s looking forward to working with the Board of Regents to unite all public education stakeholders.

“I will give it everything we have and look forward to working with you in the future,” Woolstenhulme said.

Friday was also Gary Carlston’s last day as the president of Snow College in Ephraim in central Utah. Carlston announced in May 2018 that he would be retiring after serving in the role for five years.

Southern Utah University provost and Snow alum Bradley Cook will take over as the college’s 17th president.

Carlston signed off from the board meeting with a final, “Go Badgers!” cheer.

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