Board of Regents appoints USU VP as Interim Commissioner of Higher Education
Monday, May. 20, 2019
The Utah Board of Regents has appointed David R. Woolstenhulme, Utah State University’s Vice President of Statewide Campuses, to serve as interim commissioner of higher education until the Regents find a permanent replacement for retiring Commissioner David L. Buhler.
The announcement came Friday in Ephraim at the monthly Board of Regents meeting. Woolstenhulme will assume the interim role July 1.
Woolstenhulme said he looks forward to serving as interim commissioner and considers it a great honor to be asked to serve. But he made clear that he plans to return to his position as USU’s Vice President of Statewide Campuses.
“I have been fortunate to serve in many positions in higher education in Utah throughout my career,” Woolstenhulme said in a statement released by the Regents. “Above all, I find no greater satisfaction than seeing our students succeed. I look forward to working with the board, institutional presidents, and other state leaders to champion higher education in Utah and work to address our most pressing issues over the next year.”
USU President Noelle E. Cockett said Woolstenhulme has exhibited a strong commitment to Utah’s students throughout his career.
“The state is fortunate to have Dr. Woolstenhulme accept this interim role as the Regents look for a permanent commissioner,” Cockett said. “Dave is a highly respected educator, both here at Utah State but also across the state in all education circles. He will excel in this role and, of course, we will be pleased when he returns.”
Woolstenhulme currently serves as vice president of statewide campuses for Utah State University, a position he has held since 2018. Woolstenhulme returned to USU in July 2018 following his tenure as commissioner of the Utah System of Technical Colleges where he led eight regional technical colleges throughout the State of Utah: Bridgerland Technical College, Davis Technical College, Dixie Technical College, Mountainland Technical College, Ogden-Weber Technical College, Tooele Technical College, Southwest Technical College and Uintah Basin Technical College.
Prior to his role at the Utah System of Technical Colleges, Woolstenhulme served as USU’s vice provost of Regional Campuses from 2012-14. He was also a long-time Jon M. Huntsman School of Business faculty member at the Uintah Basin Regional Campus.
Woolstenhulme holds a bachelor’s and a master’s from Utah State University and a doctorate from the University of Wyoming.
In early 2019, David L. Buhler, Commissioner of Higher Education, announced that he will be concluding his service as commissioner on June 30, then will go on to teach political science at the University of Utah.
- - Tim Vitale, Executive Director, Public Relations and Marketing, 435-797-1356