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LEHI — Sen. Aaron Osmond, R-South Jordan, who was selected to be the next president of the Utah College of Applied Technology, has now declined the new position after accepting a counteroffer from his current employer, the college announced Monday.
Osmond originally agreed to lead the institution less than two weeks ago and announced his resignation from the Utah Senate at the same time. He still plans to resign from the Legislature to make time for his family and his new role at Pearson, his current employer. His resignation date has been moved to Dec. 1, a month earlier than originally planned.
"My wife and I have taken a very careful look at both opportunities and strongly feel that it is best for our family to move in another direction," Osmond said in a prepared statement. "While the timing of this decision is inconvenient and difficult for all involved, they have been both patient and understanding. We are all confident the board will find a suitable replacement and that the great work of its eight campuses will continue uninterrupted by this change."
Osmond thanked the college's leaders and fellow lawmakers for their support, as well as that of his constituents.
"I will always be grateful for this life-changing experience to have served as their state senator," he said.
Search for a president starts again
Instead of choosing from the other three people who were selected as finalists for the presidency, the college's Board of Trustees plans to start over in the search for a new president, according to college spokeswoman Elsa Zweifel.
"They're going to do the process all over again," she said.
My wife and I have taken a very careful look at both opportunities and strongly feel that it is best for our family to move in another direction.
–Sen. Aaron Osmond
While the first application process took about three months, Zweifel said it's likely the board will take more time in the second round of applications because the college's outgoing president, Rob Brems, has agreed to extend his retirement date until after the 2016 legislative session.
"(During) the next go-around, they will have a more leisurely timeline to follow," she said.
Tod Bingham, chairman of the UCAT Board of Trustees, said in a prepared statement that he is optimistic about collaborating with lawmakers to find someone else to fill the position.
"Obviously, this is a disappointment for UCAT, but we extend our support and best wishes to Sen. Osmond as he pursues new opportunities with his current employer," Bingham said. "We have met as board leaders and consulted with Gov. (Gary) Herbert regarding next steps."
The new selection process is expected to begin after the Thanksgiving holiday.