OREM — When they heard the news Tuesday that Utah Valley University President William Sederburg will be Utah's seventh commissioner of higher education, most UVU students and staff were supportive of their leader's decision to move on.

"I think if it's a better opportunity for him, he should go for it," said Krystal Yorgason, a 25-year-old education major from Highland.

That's not to say the administrator won't be missed when he packs up his office at UVU in a month and makes his move official, however.

"I'll be sorry to see him go," said Kevin Asher, a 26-year-old English major from Provo. "He's done a lot for this school."

It was because of Sederburg's tireless dedication to the school that it was able to secure university status, students said.

"That's a huge deal — and not just to UVU," said Seth Taft, a 26-year-old accounting major from Orem. "Having another university in Utah is good for the state and the community."

It's only been a week since UVU officially became a university, though, and some students worry how things will progress without Sederburg around to call the shots.

"Right now is kind of a crucial time for UVU," said Jason Turner, a 27-year-old business management major from Orem. "Whoever is taking President Sederburg's spot has some big shoes to fill."

Sederburg may be a hard act to follow, but he has prepared UVU well, said Jeannine Hadley, who works as a counselor in the school's accessibility services department.

"He's a great leader," she said.

Part of Sederburg's success, students and faculty said, was a result of his charismatic personality. They expressed confidence that he would continue to do good work as Utah's higher education chief.

"President Sederburg is an excellent example of what an educator should be," said Amy Baird, who works as a career and academic counselor at UVU. "He sincerely cares for the students."


E-mail: estuart@desnews.com