Weber State president candidates

Candidates for the Weber State University president position include, from left: Katherine P. Frank, Brand L. Mortensen, Frank R. Lamas and Melody Rose. 

OGDEN — Weber State University is close to naming a new president, narrowing a broad field of candidates from across the nation down to four finalists.

According to a press release, the WSU Presidential Search Committee has recommended the finalists to the State Board of Regents for the currently vacant president position. They include: Katherine P. Frank, Frank R. Lamas, Brad L. Mortensen and Melody Rose.

The finalists will be at WSU’s Ogden campus on Dec. 5, to meet with groups representing faculty, staff, students, trustees and administration.

Each finalist will participate in an open-house meeting that afternoon, where the public will be able to ask questions.

A 21-member search committee spent several months conducting in-person interviews and holding public meetings in an effort to narrow down the candidate pool.

Nolan Karras, search committee co-chair and chair of WSU’s Board of Trustees described the process as a “truly ... collective effort.”

“We look forward to the Regents having the opportunity to fully consider these candidates in choosing a new leader for Weber State,” said Jesselie Anderson, Regent and search committee co-chair.

On Dec. 6, the Board of Regents will interview the finalists in a closed session. The board may order a public meeting at WSU’s Shepherd Union Ballroom C at 5:45 p.m. that day to select the president, but the decision could also be delayed and announced at a later date.

The new president will replace Charles Wight, who announced in January he’d be leaving WSU after a five-year tenure.

About the candidates

Katherine P. Frank

Frank currently serves as the Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Life at Central Washington University and is a professor of English. According to WSU’s release, she focuses on “institutional sustainability and student success,” which has included the development of a new budget model, a General Education redesign, and the opening of an eighth off-campus instructional site.

Before CWU, Frank served as Dean of Arts and Sciences at Northern Kentucky University. She has also served as Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at Indiana University East and as Chairperson of English and Foreign Languages at Colorado State University-Pueblo.

She earned a bachelor’s degree from Bates College and master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Washington.

Frank R. Lamas

Lamas is the Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at California State University, Fresno, leading 53 departments and programs. He has more than 30 years of administrative experience in higher education.

He previously served as Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Arlington and Canisius College in the Department of Higher Education and as board chairman of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Potsdam and his master’s and doctoral degrees at the State University of New York at Albany.

Brad L. Mortensen

Mortensen has been with WSU since 2004 and has served as Vice President of University Advancement for 11 years.

According to the release, his position involves developing partnerships and philanthropic resources that “promote educational access, student success, inclusiveness, and faculty and staff vitality.”

Mortensen also leads efforts to strengthen alumni and community connections, and recently began guiding the university’s aim to support regional economic development.

An active member of several Northern Utah organizations, he has chaired the Ogden-Weber Chamber of Commerce and United Way of Northern Utah. Utah Business named him as 2018 Chief Experience Officer of the Year.

Mortensen has also been professionally involved with the Utah System of Higher Education, Utah governor’s office, Arizona legislature, and two policy fellowships.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from Utah State University, a master’s degree from Syracuse University, and a doctoral degree from the University of Utah.

Melody Rose

Rose has 25 years of experience in public and private higher education and currently serves as president of Marylhurst University, in Oregon.

The 20 years prior to her current position were all with public institutions.

As Chancellor of the Oregon University System, Rose oversaw all seven public universities. She also spent 17 years at Portland State University, founding the Center for Women’s Leadership, serving in faculty governance as a Department Chair, Vice Provost, and Dean.

Rose earned a bachelor’s degree from University of California, Santa Cruz, and two master’s degrees and a doctoral degree from Cornell University.

More information on the public meetings is available at weber.edu/presidentialsearch.

You can reach reporter Mitch Shaw at mishaw@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @mitchshaw23 or like him on Facebook at facebook.com/mitchshaw.standardexaminer.

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