Statement from Richard B. Brown, dean of the College of Engineering, on the selection of Ruth V. Watkins as the 16th president of the University of Utah:

“The College of Engineering enthusiastically congratulates Dr. Ruth Watkins on her appointment as president of the University of Utah.  While serving as our Senior Vice-President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Watkins has demonstrated her remarkable interpersonal and communication skills.  She has a deep understanding of academics from growing up academically at the University of Illinois.  She has earned the trust and affection of the University of Utah community. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with her as our provost and look forward to working closely with her as she leads the U to look and act even more like the world-class university that it can become.”

University of Utah news release on Watkins’ selection.

The Utah State Board of Regents has selected Ruth V. Watkins as the 16th president of the University of Utah.

Watkins is the first woman to lead the University of Utah — the state’s oldest, largest and only Research 1 higher education institution — in its 168-year history. (Jerilyn S. McIntyre served as interim president of the U twice, for two months in 1991 and all of 1997.) Watkins will assume the position this spring – an exact date will be determined in the coming weeks.

She succeeds David W. Pershing, who has served as president since 2012 and will officially step down to rejoin the U as a faculty member.

“Dr. Watkins brings both an outside perspective based on years of leadership experience at the University of Illinois as well as significant familiarity with the University of Utah where she has served as senior vice president and provost since 2013,” said Daniel W. Campbell, chair of the Board of Regents. “She is a collaborative leader who is committed to ensuring exceptional educational and research opportunities for students and faculty. She also is widely respected by our community partners. Dr. Watkins’ vision and dedication will ensure the U excels in the years ahead.”

Read more here at @theU . . .