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University of Utah Receives “Military Friendly” Nod

ROTC cadets at the University of Utah participate in Veterans Day ceremony.

October 11, 2011 – The University of Utah and its David Eccles School of Business and S.J. Quinney College of Law have been named to the 2012 Military Friendly Schools list by GI Jobs, a premier magazine for military personnel transitioning into civilian life.

The designation denotes the services available to military personnel on campus in areas such as academics, financial benefits, schedule flexibility and support of the military. The full list of military friendly schools highlighting institutions that value military experience can be found at Visitors to the Web site are encouraged to use a search tool to filter schools based on individual preferences.

The David Eccles School of Business has actively prioritized recruitment of students with military experience. They have added the expertise of a military specific counselor who is a dedicated resource for veteran students, and launched a Web site and outreach program for recruiting.  The school’s dean, Taylor Randall, notes that veterans are sought after because of their extensive experience in real-world decision making and variety of skill sets.

“We offer some of the best programs and opportunities around for business students, and it stands to reason that we would want the best and brightest minds in our classrooms. That certainly includes those who have served in the military,” notes Randall. “We will continue to do what we can to ensure we secure a spot on this prestigious list for years to come.”

The University of Utah as a whole was designated as Military Friendly again this year, shortly after its newly established Veterans Support Center on campus opened in July. The center has become a hub for veterans – students, staff and faculty – to find resources for anything from academic benefits to private counseling to connecting with student groups. The center’s director, Roger Perkins, has developed a campus-wide “Vet Friendly” program to “bring faculty and staff to a common level of knowledge of the veteran culture and to increase communication between student veterans and the administration.”

One of the first tasks Perkins set for himself was to conduct a survey in order to get an accurate count of all veterans on campus, rather than only those who receive GI Bill benefits. He will use the data collected to work with others on campus and build programs that fit student veterans’ unique characteristics. In addition, he speaks to academic advisors and various faculty and administrative groups to help highlight some of the ways university personnel can better understand veterans and help veteran students navigate a university system.

“There are so many inaccurate stereotypes about veterans that a focused effort to address those stereotypes was needed.  Our workshops address distinct differences between branches of service, the amazing level of responsibility young veterans are expected to shoulder, and how the lack of understanding of those responsibilities is a source of frustration for student veterans,” Perkins notes.

Jim Holbrook, law professor, says, “There are over a thousand student veterans on campus right now. The steps that the university has taken will encourage them to pursue the same high-quality education and academic degrees as other university students while sharing their professional, cultural, and life-changing military training and experience with non-veteran students in their classes.”

Holbrook is a director of the National Center for Veterans Studies (NCVS), another initiative that the university created in order to address the needs of the hundreds of thousands of veterans expected to matriculate onto college campuses in the next decade. Established in 2010, the center is a joint effort from the College of Social and Behavioral Science and the S.J. Quinney College of Law with a mission to improve the lives of veterans and their families and further advance American values, prosperity and security.

“In the past two years, the University of Utah has reinvigorated its commitment to our service men and women through the establishment of a National Center for Veterans Studies, a Veterans Support Center, and a pilot National Service Academy on campus,” observes Hiram Chodosh, dean of the S.J. Quinney College of Law. “These programs help us to appreciate the invaluable talent, skills and experience that veterans offer society and to better understand veterans’ needs as they reintegrate into society after deployment. It is both our duty and honor to provide a supportive educational program for those who have sacrificed so much for our country,” he says.

The print version of the Guide to Military Friendly Schools will be available for distribution to active and former military personnel in late October. A complete listing of the schools and various programs offered by each can be found at