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Higher education Commissioner Bill Sederburg announces retirement

Published: Friday, Dec. 9 2011 4:30 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — Commissioner Bill Sederburg will retire from his position as head of the Utah System of Higher Education in August 2012.

In a prepared statement, Sederburg didn't name his reasons for leaving the position he's held for four years, but said he plans to remain involved in higher education issues locally and nationally.

“Utah has been good to me and my family, and I hope I have contributed to building a better future for the state’s citizens," Sederburg said.

Sederburg took the helm of Utah Valley State College as president in 2003 and led the school as it transitioned to a university before replacing Richard Kendell as the commissioner of the Utah System of Higher Education in 2008. Sederburg was previously a Michigan state senator and president of Ferris State University in Michigan.

“It has been a great honor to be associated with the Utah Higher Education System and its great institutions,” Sederburg said.

During his tenure overseeing the state's eight public colleges and universities, Sederburg spearheaded an effort to increase the number of high school graduates who receive post-secondary certificates or degrees to 66 percent. That plan has the backing of many political leaders, educators and business leaders. He also oversaw the merger between Utah State University and the College of Eastern Utah and served on a variety of boards and commissions.

“He has been a strong and effective voice on my Educational Excellence Commission and will be missed,” said Gov. Gary Herbert.

Enrollment at the state's colleges and universities increased by more than 22 percent during his tenure, according to higher education officials, while state budgets decreased 14 percent.

With Sederburg's retirement, the Board of Reagents now has two major positions to fill as it also searches for a new president of the University of Utah. President Michael Young left the U. in July 2011 to take the helm of the University of Washington. Board of Regents Chairman David Jordan said the search for a new commissioner will begin at the beginning of 2012.

E-mail: mfarmer@desnews.com

Twitter: mollyfarmer

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