3 finalists named in University of Utah presidential search

Carrie L. Byington, M.D (left); Jayathi Y. Murthy, Ph.D. (center); and Taylor R. Randall, Ph.D.(right). Photos Courtesy: U of U

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, July 21, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — The University of Utah Presidential Search Committee has recommended three finalists to the Utah Board of Higher Education for the position of University of Utah President after a national search.

Those three finalists are Carrie L. Byington, M.D.; Jayathi Y. Murthy, Ph.D.; and Taylor R. Randall, Ph.D.

“The University of Utah Presidential Search Committee is pleased to recommend these three candidates to the Utah Board of Higher Education,” said Harris H. Simmons, Board chair and search committee co-chair. “Our extensive search has led us to capable and distinguished candidates who will have the opportunity to be considered by the Utah Board of Higher Education as the next president and leader of the University of Utah.”

Christian Gardner, search committee co-chair and chair of the University of Utah Board of Trustees, added: “I’m grateful to the search committee for their time, commitment and hard work in identifying three tremendous leaders as candidates for University of Utah president. Each would be an outstanding choice to lead Utah’s flagship university and is well positioned to continue the U’s upward trajectory.”

The 32-member search committee has spent several months soliciting input through public meetings and in-person interviews. The Utah Board of Higher Education will interview the following finalists:

Carrie L. Byington, M.D. is the executive vice president for the University of California’s health enterprise and a professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. In her role as EVP,  Byington leads the country’s largest public academic health care system. In this capacity, she has also led the COVID-19 response for the UC System including preparing hospitals for surge, protecting 100,000 health care workers, developing testing, supporting the health and safety of 600,000 students and employees on 10 campuses, coordinating the COVID vaccine roll-out and partnering with the state of California to provide expertise and capacity for pandemic response.

Before assuming leadership and faculty positions with the University of California, Byington served simultaneously as vice chancellor for health services to the Texas A&M System and senior vice president for health sciences and dean of the College of Medicine at Texas A&M University. Prior to those roles, Byington was a professor of pediatrics at the University of Utah and served as associate vice president of faculty and academic affairs for the University of Utah Health Sciences Center and vice dean for academic affairs and faculty development to the University of Utah School of Medicine.

Jayathi Y. Murthy, Ph.D. is the Ronald and Valerie Sugar dean at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, with about 190 faculty members and more than 6,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Murthy is also a distinguished professor in the Mechanical and Aerospace Department.

Under Murthy’s leadership, UCLA Samueli has focused on growth in areas critical to the 21st century, including engineering in medicine and biology; sustainable and resilient urban systems; artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science; cybersecurity and the future internet; robotics and cyberphysical systems; as well as advanced materials and manufacturing.

Prior to joining the University of Texas at Austin, Murthy was professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University from 2001 to 2011 and held the Robert V. Adams Chair from 2008-2011. Before joining Purdue, she was a professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Murthy began her career at Arizona State University, where she was an assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering from 1984 to 1988.

Taylor R. Randall, Ph.D. joined the University of Utah in 1999 and has served as dean of the David Eccles School of Business for 12 years. Under his leadership, the Eccles School has garnered top 10 entrepreneurship rankings for both undergraduate and graduate programs. Currently, seven of the school’s programs are ranked in the top 25. The Marriner S. Eccles Institute for Economics and Quantitative Analysis, the Sorenson Impact Center, the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute and the Goff Strategic Leadership Center all have opened under Randall’s direction.

Before assuming the role of dean, Randall served as a professor of accounting for 11 years, earning accolades throughout his teaching career. He has received awards for the best teacher in the MBA, Executive MBA and undergraduate programs as well as the Brady Superior Teaching Award, which is a career achievement award. Under his guidance as faculty director, the University Venture Fund became the largest student-run venture fund in the country.

To read more about the candidates, click here.

Next steps

The finalists will be on the University of Utah’s campus on Wednesday, Aug. 4, to meet with groups representing faculty, staff, students, trustees and administration. Each finalist will participate in a public meeting the afternoon of Aug. 4, where attendees from the University of Utah community and the general public will have the opportunity to ask questions of the candidates.

Public meeting schedule

The meetings will take place at the University of Utah Marriott Library Gould Auditorium
at 295 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City.

12:30p.m.–1:15 p.m. — Jayathi Y. Murthy

1:45 p.m.–2:30 p.m. — Taylor R. Randall

3 p.m.–3:45 p.m. — Carrie L. Byington

Members of the campus community and public are welcome to attend in person or watch these sessions online. More information on the public meetings is available here.

On Thursday, Aug. 5, the Utah Board of Higher Education will interview the finalists in a closed session. The board may convene a public meeting at the University of Utah’s Rice-Eccles Stadium, fourth floor, at 5 p.m. that day to select the president. However, it may convene at another time, which will be announced at a later date.


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