Three finalists named in U of U presidential search

Three finalists named in U of U presidential search. (Photo: MGN)

(KUTV) — The University of Utah named three finalists in their search for a new president.

The finalists are Dr. Nicholas P. Jones, Dr. Thomas Katsouleas, and and Dr. Ruth V. Watkins.

“The University of Utah Presidential Search Committee has narrowed the applicant pool to these three highly qualified candidates and is honored to recommend them to the Board of Regents for its consideration in selecting a new leader for the university,” said Harris Simmons, search committee co-chair.

The 25-member Presidential Search Committee has spent months conducting meeting and in-person interviews.

Nicholas P. Jones
Jones serves as executive vice president and provost at Pennsylvania State University. He is in charge of the oversight for Pennsylvania State's research and educational programs, institutional budget, strategic planning, and for the general academic welfare of the faculty and students. Before working for Pennsylvania State, Jones served as the Benjamin T. Rome Dean of the Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins, and previously a professor and chair of civil engineering. Furthermore, he served as dean of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Jones has a master's degree and doctorate in civil engineering from Caltech and an undergraduate degree in civil engineering from the University of Auckland.

Thomas Katsouleas
Katsouleas is executive vice president and provost of the University of Virginia. There he directs the academic administration of the 11 schools, the library, art museums, public service activities, university centers and foreign study programs. Before coming to the University of Virginia, Katsouleas served as dean of the Pratt School of Engineering and professor of electrical and computer engineering at Duke University. He also taught at the University of Southern California. Katsouleas earned his bachelor's degree and doctorate in physics at UCLA.

Ruth V. Watkins
Watkins serves as the senior vice president for Academic Affairs at the University of Utah. He was appointed in 2013 and provides leadership for the academic mission, guiding the campus on matters related to faculty, staff and students, and works to set the university's strategic direction and align resources with academic priorities. Watkins worked to enhance student success through degree completion and expand research and creative activity. She came to Utah after 20 years in leadership and faculty roles at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She earned a master's degree and a doctorate in child language at the University of Kansas.

The finalists will be on the University of Utah campus on Wednesday, Jan. 17 to meet privately with groups representing staff, faculty, students and administration. On Thursday, Jan. 18, the Board of Regents will interview the finalists in a closed session. The board might convene a public meeting on the 4th floor of the Rice-Eccles Stadium at 5:30 p.m. that day to select the president. However, this could occur at a different time, which will be announced at a later date.