OGDEN — Brad L. Mortensen, vice president of university advancement at Weber State University, has been selected the institution's next president.
The Utah State Board of Regents voted unanimously Thursday to select Mortensen as the university's 13th president after spending the day interviewing four finalists.
Mortensen said he was humbled to be selected to be the next leader of Weber State, an institution that is near to his heart.
"It's still overwhelming to think about but really exciting because I love Weber State so much. I love the people here. I love the work that we do. I love our students and we're such an amazing community with such great community support. I just couldn't be more excited and humbled to take on this responsibility," he said.
Mortensen was selected among 40 applicants for the position, said Regent Jesselie Anderson, who co-chaired the search committee.
"That speaks volumes about how Weber State is viewed nationally," Anderson said.
David Buhler, Utah's commissioner of higher education, said he believes Mortensen "is the right president for Weber State, and his significant experience and strong commitment to students will be of great benefit to the university and the Utah System of Higher Education."
Utah Board of Regents chairman Harris Simmons said Mortensen is well respected by community partners and "is a thoughtful and effective higher education leader."
He added, "Throughout his career, he has been highly focused on student success and inclusiveness. President Mortensen is passionate about Weber State University, and his experience, vision and dedication will ensure that the institution continues to thrive."
Mortensen's selection was met with thundering applause and a standing ovation from faculty members, community members and students in a ballroom in the Shepherd Union. He was also cheered on by Weber State's mascot, Waldo.
His wife Camille joined him at the podium and told the audience that the couple's daughter was a Weber State alum and another daughter would soon be attending the university.
"Even though she had scholarships everywhere, she wants to be a Wildcat," she said.
Mortensen said he is committed to ensuring college is affordable and accessible to students.
"Weber State has really been a leader on that front with the Dream Weber program that President (Ann) Millner started then President (Charles) Wight even expanded. I would hope to be able to continue the growth and impact that Dream Weber program has," he said.
The program, launched in 2010, provides free tuition and general student fees to students whose annual household income is $40,000 or less.
Dream Weber Program is supported by a combination of federal and state financial aid and contributions by university donors. The goal of the program is to help students complete their college degrees, which will improve their lifelong earning potential, according to a university website.
Mortensen has served Weber State since 2004, the past 11 years in his current position.
In that role, Mortensen has developed partnerships and philanthropic resources that promote educational access, student success, inclusiveness, and faculty and staff vitality. He recently began guiding Weber State's efforts to support regional economic development. Mortensen has chaired the Ogden-Weber Chamber and United Way of Northern Utah.
He was recently recognized as 2018 Chief Experience Officer of the Year.
Previously, Mortensen worked for the Utah System of Higher Education, in the Utah Governor's Office, the Arizona Legislature and two policy fellowships.1 comment on this story
He earned a bachelor's degree from Utah State University, a master's degree from Syracuse University and a doctorate from the University of Utah.
Mortensen succeeds Wight, who stepped down earlier this year after serving five years as Weber State University's president.
In early May, Wight was appointed president of Salisbury University in Maryland.
Founded in 1889, Weber State University serves 28,247 students and offers educational programs ranging from certificates to graduate degrees at eight locations, including its Ogden and Davis campuses.