OGDEN -- After interviews with potential university presidents from an East Coast state, a West Coast state and a Gulf Coast state, Weber State ended up with the fourth candidate from just down the street.
Charles A. Wight, the candidate from the University of Utah, will be the 12th president of Weber State University, the Board of Regents announced Tuesday afternoon at WSU.
"But you can call me Chuck," Wight said, after the announcement. "I'll probably use Charles to sign official papers, but I come from a long line of Charleses who go by nicknames, and mine has always been Chuck."
Wight will wrap up his job at the University of Utah and expects to be in his Weber State office on Jan. 1.
"Although I plan to be a frequent visitor in this community in the months before that," he said.
Wight is currently the University of Utah's associate vice president for academic affairs and dean of the graduate school, positions he has held since 2006.
Wight arrived at the U of U in 1984 as an assistant professor of chemistry, becoming a full professor in 1993.
Since then, he has held numerous positions at the university, including associate dean for undergraduate studies and assistant vice president for continuing education.
Current WSU President F. Ann Millner, who in March announced her plan to leave office when a suitable replacement could be found, said Wight comes with impressive qualifications.
"He brings academic administration experience, and he is experienced in technology and technology-enhanced learning," she said.
"He has a vision for the future of higher education. He will be an able leader for Weber State University."
Bob Marquardt, chairman of the Weber State Presidential Search Committee, also praised Wight's background in science and technology.
"This is a real strength President Wight brings to the university," he said. "I look forward to discovering his vision as he utilizes new tools and technologies."
Wight, 57, said his priorities include supporting the state's goal of increasing the percentage of the population that has received college or other formal post-high school training to 66 percent by 2020.
"Weber State already has plans in motion," Wight said. "Ann Millner has done a terrific job putting Weber State on course and heading the right direction."
Wight's other priorities include increasing student success and keeping college affordable for students.
He would also like to increase technology as a learning tool for students.
"Technology is not a silver bullet, but I hope we can further integrate it into regular classes," he said.
Wight's wife, Victoria Rasmussen, also works at integrating education and technology. She is manager of professional development for the Utah Education Network.
"I'm very excited for this new chapter in our lives and look forward to getting to know Weber State University," Rasmussen said.
"I am proud to be the newest member of the Weber State community, and the newest Wildcat," he said.
The three other finalists considered for Weber State presidency were Kathryn Cruz-Uribe, provost and vice president for academic affairs at California State University; Kim Hunter-Reed, chief of staff of the Louisiana Board of Regents; and Michael K. Thomas, president and CEO of the New England Board of Higher Education.
Weber State University, founded in 1889 as Weber State College, currently has more than 26,680 full-time and part-time students, and offers more than 250 undergraduate degree programs, 11 graduate degree programs and a variety of certificate programs.