CEDAR CITY — Southern Utah University President Scott L Wyatt is stepping down from the Cedar City university to lead online education for the Utah System of Higher Education.
A search for Wyatt's successor will begin immediately and Utah higher education officials are working to identify an interim president. Wyatt will begin the new position of senior executive director of statewide online education on Aug. 15.
Wyatt was selected president of SUU in 2013. Under his leadership, the university has held tuition flat for the past three years, increased student scholarships, reduced student fees and reduced tuition for online students. During his term, the university launched a $9,000 online bachelor's of general studies degree program.
During his presidency, enrollment grew from 8,200 to 13,000 students over six years.
In a statement, Wyatt expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve as SUU's 16th president.
"My wife, Kathy, and I have enjoyed the best time of our lives together in Cedar City working alongside our faculty and staff colleagues, its wonderful alumni and supporters, community members, and, of course, SUU's incredible students. Part of our hearts will stay in Cedar City forever; we will remain supporters of the university for the rest of our lives," he said.
In addition to enrollment growth, the university's retention and graduation rates climbed during Wyatt's tenure. He led the university in developing the dual enrollment partnership with Southwest Technical College, launched three-year bachelor's degree programs and trademarked SUU as the University of the Parks.
"President Wyatt has led Southern Utah University to many outstanding achievements during his eight years as president," said Utah Commissioner of Higher Education Dave R. Woolstenhulme.
"In the last two years alone, Wyatt has seen SUU through the advancement of its online programming, more than doubling its online offerings. Though he will be missed by the entire SUU community, we are excited to continue our work together in his new role as senior executive director of statewide online education — a position with outcomes that will improve the entire Utah System of Higher Education."
Rich Christiansen, chairman of the school's board of trustees, said Wyatt and his senior team ushered in a remarkable period of innovation and growth at the university, focusing on "affordability, accessibility and inclusion without sacrificing quality."
"President Wyatt has been instrumental in enhancing the campus environment and establishing a strong vision for the future. He will be deeply missed at SUU, but we are excited to see the impact he will bring about for online education at the state level," he said.
President Wyatt has led Southern Utah University to many outstanding achievements during his eight years as president.
–Dave R. Woolstenhulme, Utah Commissioner of Higher Education
Prior to his appointment as SUU president, Wyatt served as president of Snow College. He also served in the Utah House of Representatives as the elected Cache County attorney. He has also been a partner in the Logan law firm Daines, Wyatt & Jenkins LLP.
He earned a law degree from the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law and holds a bachelor of science from Utah State University, with a dual major in philosophy and economics.