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Tom Smart, Deseret News
Dr. Richard E. Kendell is named Commissioner of Higher Education, Thursday at the Utah Board of Regents in Salt Lake City, Utah, Sept. 18, 2003. His wife, Joan Kendell is in the background. Photo by Tom Smart (Submission date: 09/18/2003)

CEDAR CITY — Richard E. Kendell has been selected by the Utah Board of Regents to serve as interim president of Southern Utah University, school officials announced Friday.

Kendell, who previously served as commissioner of higher education and deputy of public education under former Utah Gov. Michael Leavitt, succeeds Michael Benson, who was recently selected as president of Eastern Kentucky University.

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“The board and the SUU community are fortunate that former commissioner Kendell is available to serve as interim president,” Board of Regents Chairwoman Bonnie Jean Beesley said in a prepared statement “Dr. Kendell’s experience, integrity, academic expertise and management capabilities will provide a steady hand during the transition on campus that inevitably occurs during a university presidential search.”

In addition to appointing Kendell, the Board of Regents also formed a search committee for the next president of SUU, which will be led by Regent Mark Stoddard. The search committee will hold three public meetings on May 23 at SUU to obtain input from members of the university community and the general public on the presidential search.

— Benjamin Wood