Utah higher education officials said Monday that the search for a new University of Utah president won't be hampered by a presidential search fiasco in Colorado, even though some of the candidates for the Colorado job were also recommended for the job at the U.

The search for a new Colorado president was in shambles Monday after the University of Colorado Board of Regents rejected all five finalists.The Colorado regents have spent $40,000 in a nine-month search to find a replacement for Gordon Gee, a former Utahn, who resigned last summer to become president of Ohio State University.

The rejected Colorado finalists included Gene Nichol, Colorado law dean; Luther Williams, former head of Atlanta University; Joan Wadlow, University of Oklahoma provost; Lawrence Pettit, Southern Illinois University chancellor; and Albert Si-mone, University of Hawaii president.

Some of those rejected Colorado candidates also appeared on the U. candidate list but were eliminated in early cuts, confirmed Vicki Varela, assistant to the Utah commissioner of education for media relations.

Varela said the Utah search committee has narrowed the U. list to about a dozen candidates. The search committee plans to begin interviews with semifinalists later this week. It will recommend five or six finalists to be interviewed by the state Board of Regents, which will select the new president.

In Colorado, regent Kathy Arnold told the Associated Press that a new president would be appointed Tuesday. There was speculation that it would be Judith Albino, vice president for academic affairs for the four-campus school.