Presidential Search Finalists


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Bradley J. Cook

Provost and Executive Vice President - Southern Utah University

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Bradley J. Cook is the Provost at Southern Utah University, and is an alum of Snow College and a native of central Utah. He has worked to establish SUU as a national leader in student-centric, highly applied learning environments, and has advanced an agenda of internationalizing the university. Under his leadership, SUU has achieved record high student success rates, created over 25 new academic programs and centers, and elevated SUU’s academic reputation as one of the premier public regional universities in the Intermountain West. Prior to his current position, he served as President of the Abu Dhabi Women’s College in the United Arab Emirates, and eight years at then-Utah Valley State College as Vice President of College Relations and later as Vice President of Academic Affairs. Cook has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Stanford University and a doctorate from the University of Oxford.

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Steven J. Hood

Vice President for Academic Affairs - Snow College

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Steven J. Hood has served as the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Snow College since 2013. Prior to his current role, he spent 27 years at Ursinus College in Pennsylvania as a professor of politics. At Ursinus, he served as department chair, assistant dean, and director of the first-year liberal education program. In addition to academics, Hood was part of a team that worked with underrepresented student groups from rural and urban areas in Pennsylvania. He was awarded two Fulbright Fellowships (Taiwan and Peru), the Laughlin Award for Scholarship (1993), and the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching (2001). Hood holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Brigham Young University and a doctorate from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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Val L. Peterson

Vice President of Finance and Administration - Utah Valley University

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Val L. Peterson is the Vice President of Finance and Administration at Utah Valley University. His administrative responsibilities include facilities, finance, information technology, general counsel, emergency services, athletics, and internal audit. Peterson started at then-Utah Valley Community College in 1987 and has served in a variety of capacities such as Associate Vice President for College Relations and Vice President for College Relations. He retired from the Utah National Guard as a Brigadier General after 32 years of service. He currently serves in the Utah House of Representatives from District 59. Peterson has a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University, a master’s degree from the United States War College, and a doctorate from Brigham Young University.

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Courtney R. White

Chief of Staff - Dixie State University

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Courtney R. White is the Chief of Staff at Dixie State University where he advises the President, plays an integral campus leadership role, and supervises the strategic plan implementation focused on student success and access. Since 2014 he has been adjunct faculty with the Southern Utah University Masters of Public Administration program. He previously served as the lobbyist for the University of Oregon and held a similar external relations position with the Utah Education Association. His prior professional assignments include work at the Nevada, Oregon, and Utah Systems of Higher Education, most recently as an Assistant Commissioner. He earned an associate’s degree from Snow College, a bachelor’s degree from Utah State University, a master’s degree from the University of Utah, and a law degree from the University of Oregon. He is from Ephraim.