Dr. Michael L. Good of U Health to Serve as Interim U President


Photo Courtesy of Chronicle archives.

By Kayleigh Silverstein, Special Projects Managing Editor, News Writer


On Feb. 19, the Utah Board of Higher Education named Dr. Michael L. Good as the interim president for the University of Utah, to assume his role in April 2021.

“I am delighted by this appointment as I know the university will be guided by an excellent administrator while the search for a new president is underway,” said President Ruth Watkins in a written statement with U Communications.

Watkins announced her plans to resign from the U on Jan. 12 and will be assuming the role of president of Strada Impact after leaving her post in April 2021.

“I know Dr. Good will provide the steady assurance the University of Utah needs during this time of transition and I hope you will give him both congratulations and your full support,” Watkins’ statement continued.

After the Board completes the presidential search, Dr. Good will return to his current roles as CEO of U Health, dean of the U School of Medicine and senior vice president of Health Sciences at the U.

“He’s highly respected across the campus, he’s done a phenomenal job of leading the University of Utah Health Care System and the rest of the medical complex there at the university,” said Harris Simmons, the chair of the Utah Board of Higher Education.

It is tradition for the CEO or senior vice president of U Health Sciences to serve in the interim role.

“Dr. Good has been dedicated to mentoring and educating students throughout his career, and looks forward to this new interim role with great enthusiasm,” said Kathy Wilets, the director of public relations and content marketing at U Health Care, in a written statement.

In addition to his roles at the U, Good is also a researcher and inventor. Good led a team of physicians and engineers at the University of Florida to create the Human Patient Simulator, a tool now used globally in health care education.

“He has done a lot of interesting research and that’s an important component of what the University does, but mostly he is a very able administrator and leader and someone that has the respect of I believe most everybody on campus,” Simmons said. “[He] will be a wonderful leader for this interim period.”

Wilets said Good’s responsibilities during this interim period include meeting with students, faculty and staff to understand how to advance President Watkins’ work.

“He is grateful to President Watkins for establishing a strong foundation that ensures the continued success of both our university and our students,” Wilets said.

The presidential search is currently underway, with the final of three public meetings to help the committee shape a position announcement taking place on March 2.

According to a press release from the Utah System of Higher Education, the committee will then continue its process by recruiting candidates, screening applicants and conducting interviews with potential finalists. The public can expect another announcement from the Board when the committee narrows the applicant pool down to three to five semi-finalists.

The new president is expected to assume their position at the U in Fall 2021.


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