She was previously a member of the State Board of Education and now Teresa Theurer plays an even more important role in education as one of the 19 members of the Utah Board of Regents, which is actually the governing board for the whole Utah system of higher education.
This time of year Theurer still keeps an eye on the Utah legislature because she says there are huge needs at every college and university, especially when it comes to buildings.
“It’s just something they need,” Theurer says. “Some of our institutions have buildings that are very old. Because they are old they cost a lot to maintain. They don’t have the infrastructure able to have the technology that is needed.”
Theurer says having the appropriate technology available at Utah’s higher institutions not only gives students a better learning experience, but it can help attract more students to those schools and help Utah’s future.
“One of the concerns of the Board of Regents is STEM education,” she continues. “We don’t really have enough students that are choosing the science, math, engineering degrees.
“A lot of our institutions need better science buildings, need more labs, need all this to provide students with the career that they need, that will help in our state.”
Theurer says performance pay is also on the high priority list because too many professors and other employees who love it here and want to stay move because of much better salaries.
Utah State University and the University of Utah are requesting $10 million to help fund graduate students and programs. Theurer says USU has requested $1.5 million to help with a new NCAA rule for athletic stipends.
One of the other jobs the Board of Regents has is picking college presidents. So far, Theurer feels the board has done a great job with that assignment.