UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | September 23, 2022

2021-2022 State of the University Address: ‘The eighth era of Utah Tech’

President Richard “Biff” Williams talks about the growth and achievements of Utah Tech University during the annual State of the University Address Sept. 21. Misha Mosiichuk | Sun News Daily

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Introduction and remarks

Here is what took place prior to President Richard “Biff” Williams’ report:

  • The national anthem was sung by James David, a senior music major from Koblerville, Saipan.
  • Welcome remarks were given by Tiffany Wilson, chair of the board of trustees.
  • Remarks were given by Shane Blocker, assistant director of career services and Glenn Webb, associate professor of music.
  • Remarks and the introduction of Williams were given by student body president Devon Rice, a senior marketing major from Bountiful.

“I want to hear a big round of applause for President Williams and everything he has done for this university,” Rice said. “And please share that same excitement, as he shares with you our updates on the strategic plan.”

President Richard “Biff” Williams

“Good morning, and welcome to Utah Tech University.,” Williams said. “I’ve said it every year, I’m going to say it again, but this is one of the most exciting times for me to be able to come and share with you all of the exciting things that were accomplished this last year.”

“If I look at the history of our institution over the last 111 years, if we were to look at the different names, we are in our eighth era as Utah Tech University,” Williams said.

Williams said as part of the rebranding, it was important that they went forward with the focus of, “How do we capture the history as we move forward into the future?”

As an example of this, Williams shared the new school song that stands for the past, present and future. The new song was written by Ricky Valadez, and it was inspired by the original Dixie song written by A.K. Haven.

Williams then reannounced the five strategic plan goals for 2020-2025:

  1. Academic distinction
  2. Strategic enrollment growth
  3. Institutional capacity and performance
  4. Community as a university
  5. Faculty and staff life

Highlighted announcements

  • With the name change and a polytechnic focus, Utah Tech is going to host the 2023 World Polytechnic Summit in St. George.
  • Williams said: “We made history this year. So in July [2022], the State Board of Higher Education approved the first clinical doctorate at Utah Tech University right here in St. George, Utah. We are excited that now we not only offer certificate programs, but we have a clinical doctorate at this institution.”
  • During the 2021-2022 school year, Utah Tech added three bachelor’s degrees, two associate degrees, five certificates, eight online bachelor’s degrees, one online associate degree, and eight online certificate programs.
  • “We were awarded 183 acres at the Desert Color campus, so we are looking at an Innovation District, and we will do a lot of work with that this year,” Williams said.
  • The Utah Tech police department earned international accreditation in July 2022. Only 7% of the universities in the country have this.
  • Williams said: “We’ve also focused a lot on the health and wellness of our students. We just added two additional counselors. What I am really proud about is we have over 500 employees on our campus that are QPR certified.”
  • By 2025, the goal is to have over 500 international students
  • In 2021-2022, Utah Tech students received $28,519,435 in scholarships.
  • “This year the city of Santa Clara is partnering with us, and we will have a number of projects ranging from general city plans to identifying blue clay in water mitigation efforts,” Williams said.
  • Through the Atwood Innovation Plaza, 100 patents have been granted, 22 copyrights have been approved, and 104 trademarks have been submitted. Williams said this is not only an asset for those at Utah Tech but also those in the community.

“The state of the university wouldn’t be the state of the university without some big announcement”

A new, and improved, student center is in the works. Williams said this is going to be a place for students to find the resources they need, have a comfortable dining area, engage in accessible meeting spaces, and more.

“We have identified we will need a 100,000 square foot facility that will cost about $70 million,” Williams said.

Williams said they are going to raise $10 million in private funding for the new center.

The Marc C. and Deborah H. Bingham Foundation has donated $5 million to the future Utah Tech student center, and they are going to help Utah Tech raising raise the other $5 million to reach the goal.