'A remarkable leader:' Charles Wight steps down as Weber State president

Thursday , January 18, 2018 - 6:24 PM


OGDEN — After five years as the president of Weber State University, Charles Wight announced Thursday, Jan. 18, he is stepping down.

Wight announced his decision at a Weber State Faculty Senate meeting. His last day in the office is June 30.

“One of the most difficult decisions that any president has to make is choosing the best time to leave, and I truly love this institution,” Wight said. “But I’ve decided that the time has come for us to seek a new adventure.”

Wight told the faculty he is being considered in university presidential searches around the country.

“Because my candidacy at one of these universities may soon be public, I decided to tell you now, so you can hear it from me rather than from some other source,” Wight said

Before leading Weber State, Wight served as the vice president for academic affairs and dean of the graduate school at the University of Utah.

Chuck, as faculty calls him, started his presidency on Jan. 1, 2013.

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During his tenure, he prioritized keeping Weber State affordable, implementing innovative teaching methods and increasing enrollment and diversity.

In fall of 2017, Weber State set an enrollment record with 27,949 students.

“I’m especially proud of our major strides in keeping a campus climate that is welcoming to our students,” Wight said.

Although most of the faculty did not know of his decision prior to the announcement, Wight on Tuesday informed Weber State Board of Trustees Chair Nolan Karras about his move.

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“It’s been a pleasure to work with him,” Karras said. “He’s very bright, very smart and he thinks through complex issues.”

Alan Hall, Weber State board of trustees chairman from 2010 to 2016, said he was part of the review committee that evaluated Wight every year.

“He did more than he promised to do in a very short amount of time,” Hall said. “I just have a great affection for this man.”

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Hall called Wight a “remarkable leader.”

“He kept the university on budget and accomplished a lot of great things relative to the athletic department,” Hall said. “At the same time, he was helping with the growth of the university as well.”

During his tenure, Wight helped raise more than $164 million for the university, nearly $40 million over the campaign goal.

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The Dream Weber program was also expanded during his presidency.

The program started in 2010 and provided free tuition to students whose annual household income was less than $25,000. Wight expanded the program to students whose annual household income is less than $40,000.

Wight also established the role of chief diversity officer and assistant vice president for diversity at Weber State, occupied since inception by Adrienne Andrews.

Andrews was not immediately available for comment.

Ogden City Councilman Luis Lopez said Wight has been instrumental in improving Ogden youth’s chances of going to college.

“I have nothing but praise to the president for his support,” Lopez said.

Dave Buhler, the commissioner of higher education at the Utah State Board of Regents, said the board will name a search committee to begin a national search for Weber State’s next president.

“I have enjoyed working with President Wight throughout his tenure and wish him the best moving forward,” Buhler said in a news release. “We anticipate an interim president will be named later this spring.”

Contact education reporter Sergio Martínez-Beltrán at smartinezbeltran@standard.net or 801-625-4274. Follow him on Twitter @SergioMarBel and like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/STANDARDEXSergio.

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