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Dr. Lorris Betz appointed Interim President of University of Utah

A. Lorris Betz, M.D., Ph.D.

The following was released by the Utah System of Higher Education.

May 2, 2011 – After consulting with members of the University of Utah Board of Trustees, State Board of Regents Chair David Jordan announced Monday that Dr. Lorris Betz has been appointed as Interim President of the University of Utah, effective Monday May 16. This appointment comes after the announcement last week that President Michael Young has been selected as the new President of the University of Washington.

Dr. Betz, who is the Senior Vice President for Health Sciences, Executive Dean of the School of Medicine and CEO of the University of Utah Health Care will lead the University until a new President is appointed within the next year. “We know from his tremendous service over the past 12 years that Dr. Betz is perfectly suited to fill this role and ensure that the University of Utah will continue to move forward while we search for a new President,” said State Board of Regents Chair David Jordan. “Dr. Betz is the clear choice to fill the vacancy. He has already served in the interim capacity and is intimately familiar with how the University functions. We’re grateful that Dr. Betz has agreed to delay his previously announced retirement this summer, and will function in both roles until his replacement as Senior Vice President of Health Sciences is hired.” This is the second time that Dr. Betz has acted as Interim President; the first was in 2003-04.

Commissioner of Higher Education, William A. Sederburg noted, “Dr. Betz has clearly demonstrated his ability to step in and lead the ‘U’ while we concentrate our efforts on finding a replacement for Mike Young,”

“For over a decade I have had the pleasure of being associated with the University of Utah and have developed a great appreciation for the quality of this institution, its faculty and staff,” said Dr. Betz. “I am honored to once again have the opportunity to serve as the Interim President until a successor to President Young is selected.”

In 1999, Dr. Betz was appointed as Senior Vice President for Health Sciences, Dean of the School of Medicine and CEO of the University of Utah Health System. Dr. Betz also holds faculty appointments in the Department of Pediatrics, the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, and the Department of Physiology. Previously he served as the Interim Dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Michigan. He served a residency and research fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco after receiving his M.D. and Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Physiology from the University of Wisconsin in 1975. He also has a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin.

Since Dr. Betz arrived at the U of U, he has provided exemplary leadership and planning for the medical campus, hospitals, clinics and institutes.

Chair Jordan also announced that he has tapped Regent Nolan Karras to lead the search committee for a new President. Karras is a former two-term State Board of Regents Chair and former Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives. Karras was appointed to the Board of Regents in 2001 and served as Chair from May 2002 through June 2006. Other search committee members, who will include other Regents and representatives of the University of Utah Board of Trustees, faculty, students, alumni and community members, will be announced later.

About The Utah System of Higher Education: USHE includes all of Utah’s eight public colleges and universities: The University of Utah, Utah State University, Weber State University, Southern Utah University, Snow College, Dixie State College, Utah Valley University and Salt Lake Community College. For more information on the Utah System of Higher Education, visit our website at