OREM — Karl Worthington will fill in as the interim vice president of academic affairs, Utah Valley University announced Monday.

Worthington, who is serving as UVU's associate vice president of academic affairs, will take on the duties of current vice president of academic affairs Elizabeth Hitch when she takes temporary leadership of the university Aug. 18.

UVU President William Sederburg is leaving the school to become Utah's commissioner of higher education.

Worthington said he and Hitch are "eager to get to work" on solidifying UVU's identity as a university by focusing on the school's newly-drafted mission statement and keeping the school involved with the community.

"I think we would have been happy to keep our president a while longer while we got this under way, but since we need a new commissioner, I think President Sederburg will be helpful to the whole educational system," he said. "We have these plans pretty well set. We'll just get busy about implementing them."

Worthington has held the interim post once before. He has a master's degree in business education from Utah State University and a doctorate in business education from the University of Iowa.