U pres search finally down to three

It’s the moment everyone’s been waiting for.

Three finalists for the position of U president were announced Thursday by Jim Jardine, Regent for the Utah System of Higher Education and chairperson of the U’s presidential search committee.

“The search committee did a tremendous job,” said Fred Esplin, vice president of university relations. “They’re all bright, articulate and impressive people. I thought each one would make an excellent president.”

The finalists are Loren Crabtree, vice president of academic affairs for the University of Tennessee system, Susan Prager from the University of California, Los Angeles Law School and Michael Young, dean of the George Washington University Law School.

“I felt each one could bring particular strengths to the position,” said Barbara Snyder, vice president of student affairs.

All finalists have a strong administrative background, come from a prestigious university and have vast experience that make them qualified, she said.

“They each could bring things that we haven’t had before,” said Laura Snow, special assistant to the president.

Crabtree was a professor of modern Chinese History before becoming an administrator at Colorado State University and then at Tennessee.

Before joining the UCLA School of Law, Prager was a provost at Dartmouth College. She served the longest tenure as dean of UCLA’s Law School in the history of the school.

From 1985 to 1998, Young was a professor of Japanese Law at Columbia University. He has served as an administrator in the U.S. State Department and in various entities promoting religious freedom and human rights.

Although two of the three candidates have been deans of law schools and two of the three are involved with Asian studies, these similarities are not why they were chosen.

“What mattered to us was people of very fine academic background,” Jardine said.

Despite their many similarities, Jardine said each has had experiences that the search committee felt make each qualified to handle the diverse areas of the university, from law to health sciences.

The search committee worked very hard with a wonderful spirit and ethic, he said.

Lorris Betz, U interim president, sent an e-mail to all university employees Thursday with an e-mail address where comments about the finalists can be sent to Richard Kendell, commissioner of higher education.

The Board of Regents will meet April 29 to interview and discuss the finalists. A press conference will be held that evening at 6 at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

Jardine said he isn’t sure if the board will be able to make its decision before that conference.

The board will take all the time it feels is necessary to make a final decision. If the new president is not announced, the board will at least give a report of the meeting, he said.

The Daily Utah Chronicle will cease publishing for the spring semester before that meeting.

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