UVU Announces New Senior Vice President For Academic Affairs
May 5, 2014
For Immediate Release
University Marketing & Communications: Melinda Colton, 801-863-6807
Following an extensive national search, Utah Valley University has named Jeffery E. Olson of St. John’s University as senior vice president for Academic Affairs. Olson replaces Ian Wilson, who retires in June after 25 years at UVU.
During his 18 years at St. John’s University in Queens, N.Y., Olson has served in various roles. He is currently the associate provost for Academic Assessment, the director of and associate professor in the Division of Library and Information Science, as well as an associate professor in the Department of Administration and Instructional Leadership.
Olson’s ties to Utah include serving seven years as assistant dean and then associate dean of the University of Utah College of Law.
“I am excited about working with UVU’s faculty, staff and administrators to address the remarkable opportunities facing the University as it continues to transform the futures of its students and their families and communities. Its seriousness of purpose, and commitment to engaged learning, inclusion and student success are most inspiring,” Olson said.
UVU President Matthew S. Holland said Olson was selected for, among other things, his “stellar academic credentials, immersion in the research of key issues facing higher education, breadth of administrative experience, and clear enthusiasm for UVU’s unique educational mission. Clearly, he brings a sense of passion to his teaching, research, and administrative roles. Even as a senior administrator with a remarkably wide and demanding portfolio, he continues to teach, mentor student research, and attend and contribute to academic conferences. His colleagues at every level at St. John’s speak of him in superlative terms.”
Olson, who begins at UVU on July 1, received a Ph.D. from Stanford University in administration and policy analysis with a higher education concentration. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in English and a juris doctorate degree, both from the University of Utah.
The focus of Olson’s scholarship has been on the most critical issues facing higher education broadly and UVU specifically. “In particular, his research on the economics of higher education, institutional assessment, and the role of technology in the classroom is relevant to the very questions UVU faces as we continue to build our university,” said Holland.
An advocate for the value of a university education, Olson has proven to be an ambassador for the academy to various external constituents, including members of the legislature, donors, community members, and K-12 partners. “He understands and values the many voices that contribute to the university environment and invites dialogue, collaboration, and collegiality,” said Holland.
Robert Mangione, provost at St. John’s University, said Olson is “a brilliant scholar, a great teacher, an outstanding administrator and a truly wonderful colleague. His keen insight, great wisdom, thoughtful empathy and intellectual courage made every committee that he led or served on better and more effective. He will be missed at St. John’s. Utah Valley University has selected a great academic leader.”