Dr. Michael Good issues community letter as he takes on role of interim U of U president

Dr. Michael Good and U. Photos: ushe.edu

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, April 7, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Dr. Michael Good has issued a letter to the University of Utah community as he begins serving as the interim president Wednesday.

Good, who is also CEO of University of Utah Health, was announced as the interim president to oversee the U during the ongoing search for a replacement for President Ruth Watkins.

The letter reads, in full:

Dear students, staff, and faculty,

Today I begin as your interim president of the University of Utah. I am honored to accept this responsibility to serve all of you — our students, staff, faculty, and community. We are confident of success because Dr. Ruth Watkins leaves this university in an enviable position, with ongoing achievements and a team of skilled and dedicated leaders who will be my partners in the coming months.

In her eight years as president and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, Dr. Watkins set a clear course for us that was focused on student success, educational and research excellence, world-class health care, and community engagement. She guided us to recognition at the highest levels of academia. And she brought us together as One U, in service to our state as the University for Utah. Our appreciation to Dr. Watkins is deep and will be long-lasting.

Leadership transitions test us and can create anxiety. But the task before each of us is simple: Stay focused on our missions. Work together. Support one another. Strive each day to help make a colleague successful in their endeavors. Together, we will keep the university’s impressive momentum at an accelerating pace. Remember: Your individual and team contributions matter and are what make the U one of the country’s leading institutions of higher education — and allows us to attract the highest-caliber educators, researchers, and students to join us in our endeavors.

There is much reason for optimism as we see the pandemic ebbing and understand better how we will be able to manage COVID-19 in the future. Planning is underway about how and when we will resume more normal operations. We are on course to be back on campus in fall 2021.

In the meantime, the next few weeks will be full as we finish the spring semester and celebrate the accomplishments of the Class of 2021. This year’s commencement and college convocations will be especially meaningful given all we’ve experienced over the past year. Our new graduates have earned special respect and congratulations.

We are a university community with a strong commitment to hard work, to great work and to teamwork. As I get to work as your interim president, I look forward to our partnership and thank you in advance for your help and support.

Thank you for being here at Utah.

Watkins, the president of the University of Utah since 2018, announced on Jan. 12 of this year that she planned to step down as president effective in April. She said she accepted the position of president of Strata Impact Network.

In her new position, Watkins will drive national research, philanthropy, policy and thought leadership to improve students’ access to college, degree completion and career connections, a U of U statement said.

It is anticipated that a new president will be in place by the fall of 2021.

Good will return to his current roles as CEO of U of U Health, dean of the U School of Medicine, and senior vice president of Health Sciences at the university after the Board of Higher Education completes the presidential search and a new president is appointed.

Ruth V. Watkins, former University of Utah president. Photo: U of U

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