SALT LAKE CITY — Four men, all college administrators at state colleges and universities, one of whom is a state lawmaker, have been selected as finalists for president of Snow College.
The finalists, named Friday, are Southern Utah University Provost Bradley J. Cook; Steven J. Hood, Snow College's vice president for academic affairs; Val L. Peterson, a member of the Utah House of Representatives and Utah Valley University's vice president of finance and administration; and Courtney R. White, chief of staff at Dixie State University where he advises the president.
President Gary L. Carlston, who is retiring, will remain in his position through May 17.
“After receiving a great deal of public input over the past few months, the Snow College Presidential Search Committee is pleased to advance the names of these four highly qualified finalists,” said Regent Mark Stoddard, co-chairman of the presidential search committee.
“We look forward to the regents having the opportunity to fully consider these candidates as they work to select a new leader for Snow College.”
Scott Bushnell, search committee co-chairman and chairman of the Snow College board of trustees, added that “the involvement of the college’s trustees, faculty, students and staff, along with the community as a whole, has been instrumental to this process. We appreciate their engagement and thank them for their valuable participation.”
The 22-member search committee has spent several months soliciting input through public meetings and in-person interviews.
The board of regents, which has sole authority to hire and fire state college and university presidents, will interview the finalists on Jan. 11.
On Jan. 10, the four candidates will individually meet with college constituents during meetings on Snow College's Ephraim campus starting at 1 p.m. in the Huntsman Library Auditorium.
Here's the schedule:
1 p.m. – 1:50 p.m. Steven J. Hood
2 p.m. – 2:50 p.m. Val L. Peterson
3 p.m. – 3:50 p.m. Bradley J. Cook
4 p.m. – 4:50 p.m. Courtney R. White
More information on the public meetings is available at snow.edu/presidentialsearch.
Here’s more about the finalists:
• SUU Provost Cook is an alumnus of Snow College and a native of central Utah. He has worked to establish SUU as a national leader in student-centric, highly applied learning environments and has advanced an agenda of internationalizing the university, according to a press release.
Under Cook’s leadership, SUU has created over 25 new academic programs and centers and elevated SUU’s academic reputation as one of the premier public regional universities in the Intermountain West.
Prior to serving in SUU’s administration, Cook served as president of the Abu Dhabi Women’s College in the United Arab Emirates, and eight years at then-Utah Valley State College as vice president of college relations and later as vice president of academic affairs. Cook has bachelor's and master’s degrees from Stanford University and a doctorate from the University of Oxford.
• Hood has served as Snow College’s vice president for academics since 2013. Earlier, he spent 27 years at Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, as a professor of politics where he also served as department chairman, assistant dean and director of the first-year liberal education program.
In addition to academics, Hood was part of a team that worked with underrepresented student groups from rural and urban areas in Pennsylvania. Hood was awarded two Fulbright Fellowships (Taiwan and Peru), the Laughlin Award for Scholarship in 1993, and the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2001.
Hood earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Brigham Young University and a doctorate from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
• Peterson is vice president of finance and administration at UVU. His administrative responsibilities include facilities, finance, information technology, general counsel, emergency services, athletics and internal audit.
Peterson started at then-Utah Valley Community College in 1987 and has served as associate vice president for college relations and vice president for college relations.
He retired from the Utah National Guard as a brigadier general after 32 years of service. He has served in the Utah House of Representatives from District 59 since 2010, currently assigned to the Executive Appropriations Committee, the House Education Committee and three other standing committees.
Peterson earned a bachelor’s degree from BYU, a master’s degree from the United States War College and a doctorate from BYU.
• As Dixie State University’s chief of staff, White is a presidential adviser and supervises implementation of its strategic plan, which is focused on student success and access.4 comments on this story
He has been adjunct faculty with SUU’s masters of public administration program since 2014. He previously served as the lobbyist for the University of Oregon and held a similar external relations position with the Utah Education Association. His prior professional assignments include work at the Nevada, Oregon, and Utah Systems of Higher Education, most recently as an assistant commissioner.
White earned an associate degree from Snow College, a bachelor’s degree from Utah State University, a master’s degree from the University of Utah, and a law degree from the University of Oregon. He is from Ephraim.