Vowing to bolster undergraduate education, David Pershing has accepted the title of 15th president of the University of Utah.
The state Board of Regents tapped the longtime provost Friday to succeed Michael Young and interim president Lorris Betz at the helm of the state flagship. Regents chose Pershing, a chemical engineer, over his University of Kentucky counterpart, Kumble Subbaswamy, in what boiled down to a two-man race that began months ago with 80 candidates.
The Regents interviewed the finalists and deliberated in private Friday, then convened in open session before an audience of donors and administrators to unanimously endorse Pershing, 63. His nomination drew a standing ovation before Regents could even formally vote.
"In every capacity he has been outstanding and distinguished himself," said Regents chair David Jordan. Not since the ascension of Chase Peterson in 1983 have the Regents hired a U. president from its administrative ranks. Three presidents have come and gone since then.