New University of Utah President announces transition team, goals

Aug 18, 2021, 2:20 PM
university of utah president taylor randall flashes the u...
Taylor Randall will be the University of Utah's 17th president. Photo: Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — The Operation Bold Transition Team, announced today by new University of Utah President Taylor Randall, is aptly named. He says it represents what he sees as his charge for one of the state’s largest universities and the state’s flagship research university — to be bold in its aspirations.

For Randall, that means meeting with members from every school and college on campus, as well as with student and faculty leaders. Dubbed a “listening tour,” Randall says he wants to learn of all the challenges and issues each campus community is facing.

“I’m specifically interested in drawing out three areas of focus,” Randall said in a statement: “research creativity and innovation, student experiences, and our One U initiative.”

The One U initiative was created by Ruth Watkins, the school’s former president.  It’s made up of multiple committees with the goal of creating an anti-racist campus.

Two people will co-chair the transition team: Andrew Weyrich, the vice president for research, and the Director of the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, Natalie Gochnour.  Among the others making up the team are several deans, representatives of students, hospitals and athletics.

According to a statement, Randall directed the team to align with and complement the U’s current strategic plan, Strategy 2025. This plan, developed in 2019 under President Ruth Watkins’ leadership, includes core values and strategic objectives for the U.

“I support the U’s existing strategic plan, which calls for the U to be a model public university and remain focused on building an equitable and inclusive campus community,” said Randall. 

Students, staff, faculty and other community members who wish to provide input to the Operation Bold Transition Plan can do so by emailing

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New University of Utah President announces transition team, goals