UMC Links

Regents Announce Finalists for University of Utah President

John R. Park building in Presidents Circle at the University of Utah.

Jan. 17, 2012 – The State Board of Regents announced Tuesday the two finalists it will interview for the position of President of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Presidential Search Committee working with a search firm considered over 80 potential candidates and recommended the finalists after an in-depth screening process and several days of comprehensive interviews.

“We have received a wealth of public input over the past few months, and now the U Presidential Search Committee is pleased to advance the names of these two highly qualified finalists,” said Search Committee Chair, Regent Nolan Karras. “The support of U faculty, students and staff, along with the statewide community as a whole has been tremendous throughout this search process. We look forward to speaking with these candidates further as the Board of Regents moves closer to finding a new leader for our state’s flagship university.” The finalists, widely viewed as national leaders, were felt to bring exceptional strength and possibilities to the University of Utah.

After months of soliciting public input through statewide public meetings, online submissions and the 20-member Presidential Search Committee, the Board of Regents will interview the following finalists (in alphabetical order):

Dr. David W. Pershing, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Utah since 1998. Dr. Pershing joined the University of Utah as an Assistant Professor in Chemical Engineering in 1977. He was named a Presidential Young Investigator by the National Science Foundation in 1984 and became Dean of the College of Engineering in 1987. He has more than 80 peer-reviewed publications, more than 20 research grants, and five patents to his credit. Dr. Pershing has won both the Distinguished Teaching and Distinguished Research Awards and is the 1997 recipient of the Rosenblatt Prize for Excellence. He was the director of the University of Utah’s Center for Simulation of Accidental Fires and Explosions, fueled by a $40 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy of Utah. Dr. Pershing holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University and a Ph.D. in the same field from the University of Arizona.

Dr. Kumble R. Subbaswamy, Provost at the University of Kentucky since 2006. After serving as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, Irvine, Dr. Subbaswamy began his relationship with the University of Kentucky after joining the physics faculty in 1978. During his first eighteen years at the University of Kentucky, he served as Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences and as Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. He joined the University of Miami in 1997 as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. From 2000 to 2006, Dr. Subbaswamy served as Dean of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University in Bloomington. He has served as coordinator of the Deans’ group of the Association of American Universities, as a member of the Board of the National Association of College and University Business Officers, and as Board Chair of the South Eastern Conference Academic Consortium. He has been active in promoting life sciences related economic development efforts, both in Indiana and Kentucky. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors and lectures for groups including the American Council on Education. Dr. Subbaswamy holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Bangalore University, a Master of Science in Physics from Delhi University and a Ph.D. in Physics from Indiana University.

The Board of Regents will meet on Friday January 20, 2012 at 8:30 am at Rice Eccles Stadium on the University of Utah campus to interview candidates in a closed session. The Board may convene a public meeting at 2 pm that day to select the President, or may reconvene another time, which will be announced at a later date.

As an ongoing part of the selection process, the Presidential Search Committee invites public input regarding these finalists. The public is welcome to submit commentary via the U Presidential Search website at or by emailing

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