After being one of four finalists in a group of 70 potential candidates, the State Board of Regents selected President Wyatt to lead SUU on Friday, November 22. He will be the 16th president of SUU, following Snow College’s previous president, Michael Benson.
“What a thrill this is going to be,” Wyatt said. “My image of this institution has continued to grow and grow and grow, and we have so much respect for Southern Utah University.”
Like the rest of the colleges in Utah, besides Snow College, SUU has seen a 6.65 percent drop in student enrollment, which is the largest student count drop in the state system. This can be largely attributed to the newly lowered age requirement for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint missionaries.
“SUU is going to grow and I have no doubt about that,” Wyatt said.
President Wyatt beat out three other finalists: Don Capener, dean of the Davis College of Business at Jacksonville University in Florida, Lisa Rossbacher, president of Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta, Ga., and SUU’s chief academic officer and provost, Bradley Cook.
“I’m confident that I’ll make a few mistakes, but please know they’ll be honest mistakes,” President Wyatt said. “I hope that you understand how serious I am when I say this: I need everyone’s help and advice, and if you think I’m taking a wrong turn, please know that I want to hear it.”
President Wyatt has been at Snow College since 2007, and since then he has led Snow College to consistently be viewed as one of the top ten two-year colleges in America for student success, as well as graduation and transfer rates, according to CNN money. In the past five years at Snow College, there has been a 40-percent increase in student enrollments. President Wyatt has been here for the approval of Snow College’s first four-year degree program, the building of the Karen H. Huntsman Library, as well as the construction of the new student housing.
President Wyatt will be replacing interim President Richard Kendall at SUU this following Spring 2014 semester. An interim president will take over President Wyatt’s position at Snow College until a new president is chosen.