OGDEN — Brad Mortensen has been named the next president of Weber State University.
The Utah State Board of Regents unanimously approved Mortensen’s appointment at a meeting Thursday, a day after all four finalists for the job took part in a public forum. Cheers erupted from the crowd when Mortensen’s name was mentioned.
“I’m so excited about this new adventure and the chance to work with all of you in this new capacity,” Mortensen said, growing emotional as he addressed the crowd.
Mortensen has worked at Weber State since 2004 and has been the vice president of university advancement for the past 11 years. He has experience with the Ogden-Weber Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Northern Utah, Utah System of Higher Education and Utah governor’s office.
“We didn’t need a fix-it job,” Weber State University Board of Trustees Chairman Nolan Karras said. “We wanted to send the message we want to move to the next stage but we’re really happy with where we are and what we’re doing in this arena.”
In a small press conference after the announcement, Mortensen said he wants to spread the word about all the good things happening on campus.
“Weber State needs to make sure we’re positioned to carry our share of the load in educating the future workforce for Northern Utah in particular,” he said. “I think that challenge is something I’ll focus a lot on.”
Mortensen beat out finalists Central Washington University Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Life Katherine Frank; California State University Fresno Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Frank Lamas; and Marylhurst University President Melody Rose.
At the public forum Wednesday, Mortensen said he supports growing the student body at Weber State and supported freedom of expression in a university setting.
A 21-member search committee selected the four finalists after months of in-person interviews and public meetings. The search committee consisted of university administration, faculty and staff, community members, alumni and members of the Weber State Board of Trustees and Utah Board of Regents.
Search committee co-chairwoman Jesselie Anderson said there were more than 40 applicants for the job.
“That speaks volumes to how Weber State is viewed nationally,” she said.
Mortensen will replace interim President Norm Tarbox, the schools’ vice president for administrative services. Tarbox will stay on at the school in that position.
Weber State was led by Charles Wight for the past five years. He is now the president of Salisbury University in Maryland. Other past Weber State presidents include sitting state Sen. Ann Millner and former Dixie State University President Stephen Nadauld.
Mortensen and his wife Camille have four children, one of which graduated from Weber State while another plans to attend in the future.
“It’s an honor and privilege to stand by Brad’s side as he serves as the next president,” Camille said. “We love this institution.”