Utah Tech witnesses new faces with recent shifts in administration

A new chapter in Utah Tech’s history unfolds as the departure of President Richard “Biff” Williams, Chief of Police Ron Bridge, and Director of University Events Megan Church paves the way for new faculty members. This transition marks a pivotal moment, allowing for the recruitment of fresh perspectives and leadership to guide the institution into its next phase of growth and development. Abigail Byington | Sun News Daily

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The beginning of the spring 2024 semester brings some notable changes made to the Utah Tech University administration. 

As of Jan. 5, President Richard “Biff” Williams’ decade-long service as president of Utah Tech has come to an end. Chief of Police Ron Bridge and Director of University Events Megan Church have also stepped down from their roles.

According to a press release issued by the university, Williams has stepped down to “pursue other professional opportunities.” He is actively searching for a new role elsewhere in university education administration. 

In August 2014, Williams became Utah Tech’s 18th president and made a number of historic achievements while working with the university. Under his leadership, Utah Tech has seen a 42% increase in student enrollment, an addition of over 100 academic programs and a rise to Division-I athletic status. Williams also oversaw the historic name change of Dixie State University to Utah Tech University as a part of its focus on a polytechnic application to education.

Chief of Staff Courtney R. White has been serving as the university’s interim president since Jan. 5. The search for Williams’ permanent replacement will be overseen by the Board of Higher Education, which will be creating a presidential search committee in the coming weeks. 

Former Chief of Police Ron Bridge retired after five years with the campus police department and served one semester as the director of public safety at Utah Tech. He has been replaced by a new interim chief, Wes LizCalzi, who was sworn in Jan. 2. 

“One of [Bridge’s] biggest contributions was the work that he put in during the accreditation process,” Sergeant Juan Fulgencio said. “He helped implement many of the policies and procedures that we have today.”

Bridge began his work at Utah Tech as an administrative sergeant in December 2018 and assisted in the police department’s accreditation from the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators. Only 7% of universities in the United States have achieved this status. For his role in accreditation, Bridge was honored with IACLEA’s Administrative Excellence award.

Megan Church, the director of university events and promotions, has also retired from her position to step into a new role as the manager of communications at Intermountain Health. During her time at Utah Tech, Church made contributions to the growth of Utah Tech through her coordination of all major university events, such as commencement and principal fundraisers.

Church was responsible for up to 40 annual university events and worked closely with the marketing department to assist in Utah Tech’s 2022 name change and athletic rebranding. Church managed over 300 events and eight graduation ceremonies. She also promoted student involvement by overseeing 16 interns.

“There were so many great opportunities here to grow,” Church said. “There’s no experience that I could appreciate more.”