Four finalists named in Snow College presidential search

Val L. Peterson

Val Peterson, the vice president of finance and administration for Utah Valley University in Orem, will not be the next president of Snow College.

Peterson, who also represents District 59 in the Utah House of Representatives, was one of four finalists announced to be the college’s next president.

The Utah System of Higher Education Board of Regents named Southern Utah University Provost Bradley Cook as the institution’s next president Friday evening.

Cook was named as one of four finalists last year for the role of UVU president. The job went to Astrid Tuminez, who became UVU’s president in the fall.

Peterson was announced on Jan. 4 as one of four finalists for the job. On Thursday, he joined the three other candidates on the college’s Ephraim campus to meet with campus groups and participate in a public question-and-answer meeting.

Other candidates included Steven Hood, the vice president for academic affairs at Snow College, and Courtney White, the chief of staff at Dixie State University. Snow College’s next president will replace Gary Carlston, who will step down in May.

Peterson was re-elected in 2018 to the Utah State House of Representatives, where he serves as the majority assistant whip.

Peterson spoke about his 32 years at UVU and the Utah National Guard at the public question-and-answer session on Thursday. During the session, Peterson said he liked Snow College’s personal nature and concern for students.

“When I saw the opportunity for Snow College, I wanted to apply, did apply, just because I truly believe in the mission you have here and this is a beautiful campus of faculty and staff that really does care about student success,” Peterson said during the session Thursday.

Peterson also talked about the importance of concurrent enrollment at Snow College, the importance of collaboration on a university and how the university can recruit faculty and students to the rural college.

He suggested the college could recruit students from growing Utah County.

“They need to go to recruit and bring people and talk about the personalized nature of education that is here at Snow College,” Peterson said Thursday.

Braley Dodson covers health and education for the Daily Herald.

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