The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

Write for Us
Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
Print Issues

Loss of Huntsman a blow to students

By Sabriel Harris

Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. was almost definitely preparing to make a bid for president in 2012…until last week. On May 16, just after making his presidential intentions known, President Barack Obama nominated Huntsman to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to China. Coincidence? I think not.

Although belonging to the Republican Party, Huntsman maintained an open-minded and progressive attitude as Utah’s governor. Under his leadership, Utah was named the Best Managed State in America by the Pew Center, and he currently serves as chairman of the Western Governors’ Association.

Huntsman’s accomplishments are endless and his dynamicism and belief in adaptation are exactly what Utah needs.

From a statement on the state’s Web site,, Huntsman says it best: “The world is changing. Educating and preparing Utahns to prosper in the 21st century requires adapting our approach to the change we observe and expect to continue.”

In the past five years, Huntsman has concentrated on raising teacher compensation while increasing the core math and science programs in both public K-12 and higher education. With the recent economic crisis, tuition at the U should have skyrocketed, but Huntsman worked hard to ensure the rise in costs was less drastic and more slowly implemented than the legislature had wanted.

Huntsman has started a vital project called The 21st Century Workforce Initiative, which helps Utahns develop the necessary skills and talents for a dynamic, competitive global marketplace. Huntsman has regularly met with leaders from the Chamber of Commerce, State Board of Education, Office of Education, Utah State Board of Regents, Utah College of Applied Technology, Department of Workforce Services and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development to move this initiative forward.

Utah has been blessed these past five years to have a governor who sees the full importance of higher education and how broken the Utah public school system has become. It’s a tragedy that we have to lose him. Huntsman is one of the few Republicans who could actually give Obama a run for his money in 2012.

Whatever you thought of Huntsman, he was a friend to the U. With him gone, the U’s future looks even hazier than before. The possibility, and almost inevitability, of Lt. Gov. Gary Herbert being less friendly to higher education is frightening, and would be a crippling blow to Utah’s already poor education system. How will tuition, education and the workforce change for U students? One can only wonder.

[email protected]

Editor’s Note–A previous version of this story said that Huntsman had been confirmed by the U.S. Senate as ambassador. Although Huntsman was nominated by Obama, the Senate will not hold his confirmation hearings until June.

Sabriel Harris


Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

We welcome feedback and dialogue from our community. However, when necessary, The Daily Utah Chronicle reserves the right to remove user comments. Posts may be removed for any of the following reasons: • Comments on a post that do not relate to the subject matter of the story • The use of obscene, threatening, defamatory, or harassing language • Comments advocating illegal activity • Posts violating copyrights or trademarks • Advertisement or promotion of commercial products, services, entities, or individuals • Duplicative comments by the same user. In the case of identical comments only the first submission will be posted. Users who habitually post comments or content that must be removed can be blocked from the comment section.
All The Daily Utah Chronicle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *