Scott L. Wyatt – B.S., Philosophy, 1987; B.S., Economics (Business), 1987
A former Cache County Attorney, Providence legislator and professor has been named a finalist for president of Southern Utah University. Scott Wyatt, the current president of Snow College, will be in Cedar City on Thursday and Friday — along with three other finalists — for a final round of interviews, according to a press release from the Utah System of Higher Education. Wyatt will “meet privately with groups representing faculty, staff, students and administration” Thursday and will be interviewed by the search committee Friday, the release said. The Board of Regents — Utah’s higher education governing authority — may convene a public meeting at 4 p.m. that day to select the president, or they might meet at another time. The board includes Erik Mikkelsen, a Utah State University student, and Teresa Theurer, of Logan. Mikkelsen knows Wyatt personally and said he will weigh each of the candidates before making a decision. “From what I’ve seen, they’re all very, very good candidates,” he told The Herald Journal. “It’s going to be good to listen to all of the feedback from the students, faculty and community. No one is ahead right now, in my mind.” The finalists are: Don Capener, dean and endowed chair at Jacksonville University in Florida; Bradley Cook, provost and executive vice president of Southern Utah University; and Lisa Rossbacher, president of Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta, Ga. As member of the Board of Regents, “I try to look at the hiring decisions from how students would look at it,” Mikkelsen said. “I want someone who is friendly and promotes student ideas.” Wyatt has led Snow College in fundraising, growth initiatives and strategic planning, including approval of its first four-year degree program, construction of the Karen H. Huntsman Library, and a new 400-bed student-housing complex, according to USHE. His administration has raised more money for the college over the last six years than at any time in its history. Prior to his appointment as president of Snow College, Wyatt was a partner in the Logan law firm Daines & Wyatt LLP and served in the Utah Legislature for two terms, where he was a member of the Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee. “Scott is very warm, approachable, student-friendly,” Mikkelsen said. Wyatt also served on the board of trustees for Utah State University. He has taught political science, ethics and education law courses. Wyatt holds a B.S. in Philosophy and Economics from Utah State University and a J.D. from the University of Utah. The SUU finalist’s announcement comes at a time when several presidents in the Utah public higher education system have parted ways with their institutions — either to retire or pursue other opportunities. “I’m not sure if there’s anything to make of that,” Mikkelsen said. “It’s understandable. It’s the name of the game for university presidents — they average about five years — and I think a lot of our presidents have stayed longer than we even would have thought.” USU President Stan Albrecht has been in office since 2005; Cynthia Bateau, CEO of Salt Lake Community College — who has also served since 2005 — has just been announced the new president of Florida State College at Jacksonville.