A veteran in distance education for Utah State University has been selected to lead the university's southeast region in a role that forges a unique alliance between the College of Eastern Utah and USU.
Guy Denton has been named associate vice president for the College of Eastern Utah, San Juan Campus in Blanding and executive director of the southeast region of USU. He served as executive director of the USU Uintah Basin campus for the past seven years.
This new joint assignment, a result of legislative funding provided to USU, CEU and Snow College, is the beginning of new partnerships designed to bolster higher education offerings in the rural areas of the state. As a result, new degrees will be offered in fields such as education, business, engineering, computer science, natural resources, social work, liberal arts and family, consumer and human development.
USU President Stan L. Albrecht and CEU President Ryan L. Thomas say this appointment signals a new era of partnerships for USU with its sister institutions.
This new appointment and partnership with CEU strengthens educational opportunities for students living in rural southeast Utah by allowing them to use their CEU degree to springboard into four-year and graduate programs offered by USU.
"Guy Denton is a proven leader who has helped transform the USU Uintah Basin campus into a vibrant educational program with a focus on research and teaching," said Ronda Menlove, USU Vice Provost for Regional Campuses and Distance Education. "We will miss him in the Basin, but we are thrilled he will be a key member of the leadership team of our regional campus and distance education program."
Denton said he looks forward to the new opportunities to expand educational access for those living in southeast Utah, but he will also miss his work and the close ties he developed with residents in the Uintah Basin, the public school systems and with the Uintah Basin Applied Technology College (UBATC).
"I have total respect for the citizens of the Basin and the way in which they support higher education," he said. "Much credit goes to the citizens of that area who have worked so hard and to the community leaders who have been so visionary."
In his new role as an employee of both USU and CEU, Denton said he will work to forge similar alliances. He praised the Utah legislature for providing essential funding to make higher education expansion possible in southeast Utah.
Denton said it is important that CEU's community college mission be strengthened, but that four-year and graduate level programs also grow to allow students to seamlessly move from two-year to four-year educational opportunities. This new funding will make this possible.
CEU President Ryan Thomas said Denton and the new alliance formed between the schools is a perfect match.
"I'm thrilled," he said. "This opportunity to work with Utah State really is a fulfillment of a vision Stan Albrecht and I have spoken about for years.
Denton will bring to the southeast Utah region what he brought to the Uintah Basin: new alliances and stronger education programs and opportunities, Menlove said.
Denton said he plans to start by bringing in programs offered in conjunction with USU's College of Natural Resources - programs that would serve an area of the state so rich in natural resources.
During the transition period, Dave Woolstenhume, student relations coordinator at the USU Uintah Basin campus, will serve as interim director. He will remain in the position until a national search for a new executive director is completed in the month's ahead, Menlove said.