Regents select Carbon native to serve as interim president at CEU
|Mike King will assume the interim president duties at CEU next month.|
On Monday, the state board of regents announced the selection of Mike King to act as interim president at College of Eastern Utah.
King will assume the leadership duties in May when current president Ryan Thomas leaves CEU. Thomas announced his resignation last month.
A formal search for the new president will begin once a study requested by the Legislature regarding the potential for greater collaboration and cooperation between CEU and Utah State University is complete.
The regents office noted that details about the study will be released at a later date.
"CEU and I will miss Ryan Thomas," said King. "He has made a significant impact for good on the college. He has worked tirelessly in the community, within the Utah system of higher education, with the Legislature and others to promote the interests of the college and to increase awareness of the value and challenges of higher education in rural Utah."
King explained Wednesday that while he is interim president he will be assuming all the duties of the president's office.
King has been serving as the provost and vice president for academic affairs at CEU since July 2004. He was the dean of arts and sciences at the school from 2000 to 2004 and CEU's biology department chair from 1997 to 2000.
King came to CEU in 1996 as a biology instructor. He has continued to teach ecology and environmental science courses on campus. He earned a doctorate degree in wildlife science from Utah State University. He earned master's and bachelor's degrees in zoology from Brigham Young University and an associate's degree from CEU.
King currently serves on the state's concurrent enrollment task force, the higher education advisory committee for the Utah network and the E-learning connection advisory committee.
Prior to coming back to CEU and his hometown of Price, King was associate professor and extension wildlife specialist at the University of Tennessee from 1988 to 1996. He was responsible for developing statewide extension education programs in wildlife management and directing the Tennessee 4-H wildlife project.
From 1985 to 1988, King worked as a natural resources planner and technical writer for USU Research Foundation and Hill Air Force Base.
"Dr. King will ensure that CEU continues to be a key component in the economic and workforce development in this region of the state," said board of regents member Jed Pitcher. "The college plays an important role in meeting the higher education needs of eastern Utah, and he is a strong and capable leader. He will also play an integral role as the study moves forward."
A Carbon High graduate, King has been involved at CEU since he was 10 years old.
His father, LaVell King, was a science professor at the college and his brother, Brad, is a vice-president at the school.
King views his role as interim president as important in the process of the study that will be taking place.
"A lot of what I will be doing is helping with that study," he said. "I want to make sure that it is an objective study."
Whether CEU remains an independent junior college, or becomes more collaborative with Utah State or becomes a satellite campus of USU will depend what the legislature does with the study results.
Officials hope the study will be completed by December so the results will be ready for the legislative session in 2009.
An independent consultant will probably be hired to conduct the study. But not even a framework for the study has been set up yet.
"During my time in this job I want to concentrate on strong community relations and growing our school as an institution," stated King. "We need to get our name known across the state; we need to get people to know us."
"I envision continuing that effort and helping CEU develop greater name recognition throughout the state," pointed out the interim president appointee. "We often feel like we're the best kept secret in Utah when it comes to higher education. CEU is a wonderful place for students to start their college education. We have excellent faculty and very dedicated staff in Price and Blanding - all interested in helping students achieve their goals."
"I'm grateful for this opportunity given to me by the Regents. I appreciate their confidence and look forward to working closely with them, the Commissioner's Office, and community leaders to meet the higher education needs in southeastern Utah," concluded King.
King and his wife, Jan, have five children and seven grandchildren.