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Basim Motiwala

New members of the Board of Regents, pending Senate confirmation, will join the governing board of higher education and fill two of three current vacancies.

The Rev. France Davis, as well as student Regent Basim Motiwala, were appointed by Gov. Jon M. Huntsman Jr. Monday, following multiple interviews.

The Rev. Davis, who is a member of the Salt Lake Community College Board of Trustees, is also the full-time pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church in Salt Lake City, where he has served in that capacity for more than 30 years.

"Our system of higher education will benefit from his proven leadership, knowledge and experience in building and creating post-secondary education opportunities for Utahns," Huntsman said in a statement Monday.

As the 32nd student Regent, Motiwala, a senior at the University of Utah, will represent Utah's student population on the board. He was one of three finalists recommended by the Utah Council of Student Body Presidents for appointment to the board and will serve a one-year term.

"Basim is highly respected by his peers and the university," Huntsman said. "His outstanding leadership experience among students will be a great asset to the Board of Regents."

Motiwala, 22, served as the U.'s student body vice president last year and has remained active in campus relations. He is working toward a bachelor's degree in behavioral science and health and has recently been studying to take the Medical College Admission Test.

He said he has experience with the issues that students face and will do his best to represent them on the state level.

During the most recent Board of Regents planning meeting, resolutions of appreciation were read for former regents James S. Jardine and Sara V. Sinclair, and Amy Brockman Engh, former student regent.

Jardine, who served as a working member of several committees, some of them involving multiple presidential searches, a tuition task force, planning and review teams, mission and roles task force, and within the various public colleges and universities boards of trustees, began service as a regent in 1999.

Since 2001, Sinclair has also been serving on various committees and boards within the scope of the Board of Regents and is leaving to serve as a federal monitoring surveyor for the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare.

Regent Chairman Jed H. Pitcher said their service and dedication to the roles of higher education will be missed.

The new regents will begin their service with the board on July 1. Huntsman has been presented with candidates for the third vacancy but has yet to announce a decision.


E-mail: wleonard@desnews.com