Utah Short Four College Presidents

Utah Short Four College Presidents

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- For the first time since its creation 35 years ago, the Utah higher education system is hunting for four college presidents at virtually the same time.

Salt Lake Community College and the Utah College of Applied Technology already have seen their presidents leave the state. Utah State University's leader departs next month. And the head of Dixie State College steps down June 30.

"We are going to be busy," said Higher Education Commissioner Richard Kendell.

However, Kendell and the Board of Regents expected to fill the SLCC vacancy this month. The search has been underway since fall 2003, after Lynn Cundiff left for the private sector.

Regents learned over the holidays that Kermit Hall was bowing out at USU for the top job at the State University of New York in Albany.

The decision wasn't a complete surprise. Last year, Hall was the runner-up for the president's post at the University of Tennessee.

UCAT President Gregory Fitch left last month to become Missouri's commissioner of higher education. The search for a replacement will start in earnest next month.

Regent Daryl Barrett will lead the search committee, which will include former Gov. Norm Bangerter, UCAT trustee president.

Kendell is undaunted by the recruiting and interviewing that lies ahead. The plan, he said, is simply to look for the best individuals.

"It's a lot of work," he said. "But one of the presidents will be named this month."

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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