Comments about ‘BYU professor picked as UVU president’

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Published: Saturday, March 7 2009 12:00 a.m. MST

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I known Dr. Holland for almost 25 years and have watched him progress in his academic career. He is by far one of the most gifted and talented people that I know. He mind is on par with his father's which many would agree to be the best that BYU has had in its presidency. But everyone in these previous postings is missing his biggest asset of all. That being his wife Paige. She can walk into a room full of strangers and make everyone of them feel as if she has known them their entire life. She will have to represent with Matt UVU and both of them will be fantastic. Not to sound cliche' but she truly completes him. UVU, you have knocked one out of the park with this choice. Only as time moves on, you will understand the greatness in this choice of both of them. BYU has lost an incredible mind and professor in Dr. Holland and UVU has gained a treasure. Good luck to the both of you and to the future of UVU.

Re: No Comparison

You seem to have difficulty grasping the concept of analogy - there would be no comparison if Holland had just been appointed President of the United States of America rather than of UVU.

If he had just been made president of the U.S. then, yes, he would be absurdly under qualified and there would be no comparison.

As it stands, however, the analogy is quite legitimate. Obama is relatively inexperienced for a U.S. President, Holland is relatively inexperienced for a newly elected university president.

It is a basic SAT question: "Holland is to the presidency of Utah Valley University what Obama is to the presidency of ______?"

The question is not, "Who is more qualified to be president of ANY organization, Barack Obama or Matt Holland?"

A more concerned UVU student

Yesterday morning, i was one of the few students that interviewed all three candidates. I sat in a room for 45 minutes with each of them. There is not a group of people at UVU that bleed green more than my friends and I in the room. I must say, that President Holland won us over immediately. If you nay sayers were in the room with us, you would be eating your words right now. Sure the other other candidates might have looked good on paper, but he had us eating out of the palm of his hand. We loved the other candidates as well, especially jack christianson, being a personal friend of most of us. But i have no doubt that the university is not in good hands, but great hands.

i spent hours with president sederburg, and am extremely grateful for the efforts he made, but i will echo sedeburg's words in saying that he probably will make sederburg look bad.


The reality is that UNC will beat the tar out of Duke on Sunday. So there.

Grad Student who left UT

I find the previous comments about why some leave Utah for graduate education extremely irrational--and I applaud and echo those who have refuted them already.
To their comments I add:
Who ever said people wanted to leave? Have you ever considered that Utah has one of the highest graduate-degree applicants per capita in the nation--so much that the state's grad schools could never accommodate us all. I am a medical/grad student outside of Utah, but that doesn't mean I can't return some day and maybe teach students with loyalty and passion for this state. Are you serious? Sometimes you just have to go where your family will benefit most, even if that takes you out of state.
It would do you a lot of good to think more clearly about things before posting such nonsense. There are many more factors in choosing a place for higher education than you obviously understand. Give me a break.


Robots? who said anything about robots? Experience begets wisdom. Lack of experience will lead to mistakes that an experienced person would not make. Experience is to be valued in any leadership role - there's a reason why the next bishop in a ward won't come from the teachers quorum or that it was the longest serving apostle became the president of the church: experience. Maybe he turns out okay, but there is no reason to be blindly optimistic either.


A lot of the respondents are missing an important point of the selection process. President Holland indicated that one of his most important responsibilites will be to increase funding through a capital campaign. Most university presidents spend the majority of their time raising money for their institution. They are the figurehead, many times the best one to ask for a donation.

If the university is solvent or has increased it's
endowment, then it can move forward, improve, and serve the studentbody better. President Holland has contacts that should serve him and the university well in that regard.

Additionally, he has the naysayers to prove wrong and that should be a lot of added incentive. Best wishes of success to the new President!

to "why go to Duke"

A person who attends a Utah school - such as BYU - needs to get their advanced degrees at another school to ever be considered to teach or work in the administration at the school of their undergrad. As far as I know, all schools work this way. They do not want inbred students. Every professor I had at BYU told me that if I received my Masters at BYU, I would never be considered teach there as well. It's not a pride thing - although I would hope to be taught by professors that had seen more of the world than just one state.


Best of success to Dr. Holland.


You who poo poo this choice of choosing Dr. Holland because of his lack of experiance need to remember that this country elected a president who had even less experiance to lead. I believe that UVU will be O.K.. We Do need to pray for the country thogh!

Re: Reasoner

How old was Pres. Monson when he was called to be a bishop, again? 22?

Experience is one factor among many that should be considered. Sometimes experience is helpful, other times it is simply a synonym for being set in one's ways.

I think the tv is in focus now

Let's see: mediocre school, 27,000 students, only 2 masters programs, is in the shadow of the U and the Y, and has had its budgets cut cut cut.

So you select someone with inside power, really inside the old belt way. A guy who has worked with the governor, and whose dad is a power in the Mormon church.

Good choice. Too bad you didn't get an experience person, who could have at least been a chairman or a head of department for a year or two.

But given his inside connections, he will do well. He will also leave the univ. in 5-6 years to run for political office. Might even make it too.
It is in the cards for the oligarchy that runs the state and its dominant religion. Holland will be in congress before ten years is up.

Ben Brooks

Im surprised by UVUs choice of Matt Holland, despite his strengths. I have worked with Matt. I know him as a bright, effective teacher and a dynamic personality. I like him, and I believe he is a good man. But his background speaks more of potential accomplishment than the actual accomplishment that you typically expect in a university president. He has very minimal experience in academic administration. He has not been teaching long enough to have gained a full professorship. His work as a scholar, both in quality and quantity, is best described as promising rather than stellar. I can see no reason to select him for this position other than what must have been an extremely impressive performance in the interview process.

There is nothing wrong with promise and potential, and Matt Holland has lots of both. We just need to recognize that UVU is taking a significant risk by relying so heavily on potential instead of a solid record of administrative leadership.

UVU is a large university with an increasingly valuable place in our community, so the stakes are high. Both UVU and Dr. Holland have my best wishes for the success of their experiment.

Want an administrator. Get a VP

Embarrassment for Utah,

"The state of Utah should be embarrassed today for the good old boy network is on full display. Rather than selecting a president based upon merit the regents went for cronyism."

Holland met every single one of the criteria set by the Board of Regents before he was selected. He had the perfect mix of experience. University Presidents aren't administrators. The combination of political experience, academic credentials and his management experience made him the right fit.

"I'm sure he is a good guy and will do just fine in the position, but the point is that the most qualified and able person did not get the job! Shame!!"

Who would that be? Please tell us! Someone with only administrative experience? I guess a President does it all himself. The Vice Presidents and every other administrator at the University would be at a total loss and unable to do anything if it wasn't for the President.

If the Board of Regents wanted an administrator they would have chosen a person for a Vice President.

The other candidates didn't possess all the required qualities. It's shocking that you don't understand that.

Learn what is necessary before

stephen l.,

"This guy is not qualified to be the president of a major institution. He has a PhD in poli sci and has just been a teacher at the Y. The board picked him because of his dad. It is sad because the other two candidates where more qualified. I guess he will keep UVU on the straight and narrow though."

How offensive to the man and his lifetime of effort. He has earned his position and it is sick that you would bring his father into this. If he was anyone else son everyone would acknowledge that he has the experience and qualities to be the President of any University in this country (Bill Sederburg had less experience as an administrator when he became the President of Ferris State University in Michigan than Holland has now).

The other candidates weren't more qualified. They were specialists. Holland not only had the academic credentials but also the political and management credentials that the other two didn't possess. Had Holland simply specialized he would have been a VP or Dean at BYU by now but Deans and VP shouldn't necessarily become Presidents. In fact, most don't.


To some of us who have watched Matt Holland grow it may be difficult to see a teenage boy transform so quickly into a giant of a man. There is more behind this man than his family name. To the doomsayers: Matt will win you over with his personal warmth, wit and humility; his ability to communicate, his genuine personal interest with those with whom he works.

Holland is more than qualified

J Mil,

"I don't think anyone who wasn't involved in the interviews and hiring process has any ground to say that he isn't as qualified as the other choices. That's why they do interviews and not just look at resumes. That's all we have to go on is what we know of their resumes. Those who made the choice has much more than that."

People fail to understand what is necessary in a good President. If I had to choose between someone who had a Ph.D. in political science or someone who had a Ph.D. in business administration I would choose the Ph.D. in political science as the President of a University and the Ph.D. in business administration as a Vice President or Dean. If I had to choose between a Ph.D. in political science who had limited management experience and one without any management experience I would choose the Ph.D. in political science over the Ph.D. in political science without any management experience. If I had to choose between a Ph.D. in political science with management experience and published works over one without. Guess who? Holland

You are showing your ignorance

Religion not factor,

"Holland's religion is not the issue. The issue is that his experience is either being downplayed by the media or the regents are taking a major risk on him."

The media is downplaying his experience and aren't telling people what is required in a University President. They are also failing to mention that he has all of the qualities necessary for a President.

"He may turn out to be a great president, but his experience now is very minimal. BYU is not run like UVU when it comes to funding. Working for Mike Leavitt is not leading a university. I'll give him a chance, but he needs to get rid of my doubts on his inexperience quickly."

He doesn't need to do any such thing. Your failure to understand what is needed in a President is shown by your comment about "funding." Please tell us what your list of experiences would include so I can tear it apart which would be easy since you focus way to much on administrative experience when 90+ percent of University Presidents aren't and shouldn't be administrators before becoming President.


An LDS man is right for the job. I welcome the hire and look foward to the honesty and integrity only a member of the church can provide.

Holland is more than qualified

Here is a list of qualifications necessary in a University President.

1. Experience in the classroom at the university level.

2. A Ph.D. degree or an equivalent degree as one indicator of their ability to lead.

3. A record of scholarly or creative achievement, to ensure an understanding of the importance of faculty and student research to the learning process.

4. Excellent written and verbal communication skills including published works.

5. A vision of what the University should be and the future direction of the University.

6.Strong interpersonal skills and an analytical mind which should be demonstrated in both their written and verbal communication.

There are many others yet it is important to bear in mind that administrative experience is never high on the list of qualifications for a President since all Universities have a lot of administrators and its not the primary role of a University President. If we look at Dr. Holland's experience and compare it to the qualifications set by any Board of Regents in any state it would always include a long list of the necessary qualities but it would rarely focus on the need for an administrator.

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