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Ruth Watkins Resigning As President Of University Of Utah

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – University of Utah President Ruth Watkins announced she will be stepping down after accepting a position as the president of Strada Impact.

According to a statement from the university on Tuesday, Watkins will be leaving in April.

At Strada Impact, she will “drive Strada Education Network’s national research, philanthropy, policy and thought leadership to improve students’ access to college, degree completion and career connections,” the statement reads.

“I believe the work of Strada Impact is more important today than ever before because completing college and securing employment will be especially crucial for millions of young Americans post-pandemic,” Watkins said in a letter to the university’s campus.

In the letter, she highlighted the U’s graduation rates during her tenure, saying lives have been transformed and the state’s industries have the talent needed to thrive and keep the economy strong. She also noted that the university was also invited to join the Association of American Universities in 2019, “(exemplifying) the leadership the University of Utah provides the nation, particularly in this time when research and innovation are so crucial.”

“I offer my deepest gratitude to all who have contributed to the U’s vital work and success, and who have given me the opportunity to be part of this community,” Watkins wrote. “Please know that no matter where I go, a Utah woman I will always be, and Bob and I will be proudly cheering you on in every good thing you do.”

The Utah State Board of Regents selected Watkins as the university’s 16th president in January 2018. She is the first woman to hold the position.

The Utah Board of Higher Education will immediately begin a national search for a new president, according to the U’s statement.

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