Young to build brighter, livelier campus

Through a pair of imaginary tours across the U’s campus circa 1915 and his envisioned future of 2015, newly certified U President Michael Young said Friday during his inauguration at Kingsbury Hall that the U has a solid foundation on which he expects to create a brighter, livelier future.

While he said the U should carry on a strong tradition, he added that the campus will be profoundly different as students will be more heavily supported by scholarships. They will spend more time on campus engaged in research and individualized learning with professors.

He said the U could achieve the goals by encouraging diversity, emphasizing international and interdisciplinary work and connecting the campus to the community at-large-all of which he addressed with new programs.

To encourage diversity, he announced two decisions, one to continue to fund the Utah Opportunity Scholarships Program-which helps first-generation college students afford their schooling-and an incentive program to encourage departments to recruit women and faculty of color.

This year sees the first graduating class of the opportunity program and 85 percent of the original recipients are completing their degrees in four years.

To prepare students to enter a world that is becoming a single entity “where borders matter only to politicians,” Young announced three new international programs: an institute for public and international affairs, a center for Asian studies and a center for Latin American studies with an initial emphasis on Brazil.

Young also said the U’s partnership with the state must be expanded and addressed that issue earlier this year with the announcement of the new office of technology venture development headed by Jack Brittain, dean of the School of Business. Young said he hopes the office will provide the state with more start-up businesses and boost the economy, in the process of ensuring the U’s interdependent relationship with the state continues.

“We must be bold, we must surprise ourselves by our own ideas,” Young said. “We have been entrusted with a precious jewel…That I have the honor of doing all that can be done together, with you in partnership, will without a doubt be the greatest privilege and opportunity of my life.”

How the programs will help

Young said he expects the level of diversity to be enriched and students to speak dozens of languages learned on campus and honed to perfection in study-abroad programs, which will be undertaken by virtually every student at the university.

“This university has more international resources than any other major state university, untapped to be sure, but resources just the same,” Young said. “The number of students at the U with high-level foreign language experience and long-term foreign living experience is simply unmatched by any other major state university.”

He said the potential for more fully interconnecting the U and the community already existed, and the U needed to pursue ways to expand on that relationship.

“There is not a person in the state whose life has not been made better because of this great university, and there is not a corner of the university that has not been enriched by the support of Utahns across the state,” Young said. “That abiding interconnected relationship must continue.”

He concluded saying that, while ambitious, the vision is within the U’s sight.

“It’s an extraordinary tour of an extraordinary university, but it is a tour I take in my mind on a daily basis. I’ve seen this university of the future, and I believe it is in our reach,” Young said. “It will not be easy to achieve, but possible…we can not fail the trust that has been placed in us by those who have gone before…we owe our children and their children the future they so richly deserve.”

Young was ushered in as the U’s 14th president following more than eight months of service, a week of fanfare and a long procession of community leaders and U contributors clad with colorful caps and gowns who walked to the tune of the U’s marching band from the Park Building to Kingsbury Hall.

Local leaders such as Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., Commissioner of Higher Education Richard Kendell and Senate President John Valentine praised Young for his first months of leadership before Regents James Jardine and Nolan Karras introduced Young as the U’s certified president.

Prior to Young’s speech, Huntsman alluded to former Secretary of State James Baker’s speech earlier last week, saying the winds of change taking place in the Middle East are also happening here in Utah.

“With the appointment of President Young, we now have a Utah man in charge at Brigham Young University in Cecil Samuelson and a blue cougar at the helm of this great institution,” Huntsman said. “Indeed the world is changing.”

He added that Young, who was born and raised in Chester, Calif., is proud of the fact he is related to the pioneer leader Brigham Young, which makes him “not one in a million, but one of a million.”

Chairperson of the Board of Regents Nolan Karras said he was satisfied with Young’s performance so far.

“This university represents so much more than an educational institution. It can shape the very fabric of our lives. It can not only educate us and our children, but it can lift us and make us a better people,” Karras said. “We have every confidence that you will succeed.”

Young offered an optimistic outlook on coming years.

“I take great comfort in knowing that we build on the exceptional work of those who have gone before,” Young said. “That storied past and certain foundation ensures that we can reach with confidence a successful future.”

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U Chronology of Presidents

Orson Spencer – 1850-1854 (chancellor)

John R. Park – 1869-1892-Paid $1,600 per year; 84 students enrolled in first term in 1869; teachers paid between $24 and $50 per month; higher education was suspended between 1871 and 1872; On Feb. 17, 1892, the school named was changed from the University of Deseret to the University of Utah.

Joseph T. Kingsbury – 1892-1894 (acting)

James E. Talmage – 1894-1897-Paid $3,000 per year; athletic association was organized; first summer school was held in 1894.

Joseph T. Kingsbury – 1897-1916-Authorized in 1899 to spend $200,000 to build and establish the university; student body reorganized as the Associated Students of the University of Utah in 1901; faculty disruption in 1915 resulted in 17 members of the teaching staff resigning.

John A. Widtsoe – 1916-1921-Resources of the university were pledged to the U.S. Government; military drills made compulsory for able male students and women were required to do preparedness work; with the declaration of World War I, campus was transformed into an armed camp.

George Thomas – 1921-1941-In 1940 enrollment reached 4,632.

Leroy E. Cowles – 1941-1946-Enrollment dropped to 3,418 because of Pearl Harbor and the United States’ subsequent entrance into World War II; in 1945, the post-war influx of students increased enrollment to 6,821 and buildings in Fort Douglas were expanded into temporary classrooms;

Albert Ray Olpin – 1946-1964-In 1946 he began expanding facilities and academic recruitment to secure new faculty; enrollment increased to 9,849 and reached 10,051 in 1958.

James C. Fletcher – 1964-1971-In 1968 the J. Willard Marriott Library opened; in 1969-1970 antiwar sentiment was strong and about 500 students held a peaceful sit-in in the Park Building.

Alfred C. Emery – 1971-1973-Friends of the University of Utah Libraries, an outreach organization that provided information about the libraries for the public, was created.David P. Gardner – 1973-1983-In 1973 the U was 26th in the nation in federal funds received, indicating it had reached the category of major research university; highest student population at this time was 21,603 in 1975-1976.

Chase N. Peterson – 1983-1991-The U’s first comprehens
ive campaign, The Campaign for Utah: Touching a Nation, was completed.

Arthur K. Smith – 1991-1997-In 1995 Salt Lake City was awarded the 2002 Winter Olympic Games and the U was selected as the location of the Olympic Village and venue for the opening and closing ceremonies; the $500 million Sesquicentennial Campaign: Generations of Excellence was implemented.

Jerilyn S. McIntyre – 1997-1998*^

J. Bernard Machen – 1998-2003

-In 1999 the Huntsman Cancer Institute was dedicated; the 2002 Olympic Winter Games were held at the U.A. Lorris Betz – 2004*

Michael K. Young – 2004-Present

Source: U inauguration program*Denotes Interim Presidents^Attended Young’s Inauguration