What does a Board of Regents do, and how are the members selected?
Higher education in Utah is overseen by a board of 19 Utah residents. Salt Lake Community College professor Jay Williams offered a simple explanation of how the members of this Board of Regents are selected.
“The state of Utah has a Board of Regents. They are appointed by the governor. The governor can control higher education that way,” he said.
That is essentially correct, but there are some nuances.
Of the 19 members, 15 are appointed by the governor, but require the consent of the Senate. They are full voting members.
One other voting member is a student. The student body president’s council presents a small list of students to the governor, and he can select one of them without the consent of the Senate.
That leaves three spots to fill. Two are appointed by the State Board of Education, and one by the Utah College of Applied Technology Board of Trustees. These three are non-voting members, so their power is limited.
For any particular aspect of higher education in Utah, the Board of Regents has the final say. They handle things from executive appointments at state institutions, to the establishment of policies and procedures, to budget and finance.
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