Utah State University President Stan L. Albrecht announced today [Feb. 3, 2016] that he will step down as president. He will remain in his role until a search for his successor is complete.
Albrecht announced the decision in a personal letter sent to the university’s faculty and staff.
“The journey has been a truly remarkable one,” he wrote. “While I will miss the opportunity that has been mine to lead this very special place, I will also look forward to the satisfaction that will come in watching its successes under new leadership.”
Announcing the decision now will allow the state Board of Regents and the USU Board of Trustees the necessary time to conduct a careful and thorough search for a new president, he said in the letter.
“The fortunate person they select for the assignment will inherit stewardship over a university that continues a trajectory of ever-increasing excellence,” Albrecht said. “I am proud of the many things we have accomplished together that have accelerated that course.”
Albrecht went on to list some of the highlights that to him were memorable, including:
<ul><li>Increasing access for students across the state through growth in the regional campus system</li><li>A highly successful first-ever comprehensive campaign</li><li>Record research program growth</li><li>Outstanding teaching, research and scholarly productivity of faculty</li><li>Student enrollment growth</li><li>Dramatic infrastructure changes with more than 30 new buildings in place both in Logan and at regional campuses</li><li>Student athlete successes both academically and on the playing field, and the move to the Mountain West Conference</li><li>Fulfilling a personal dream – creating the Caine College of the Arts</li></ul>
Albrecht extended his personal thanks in the letter to fellow administrators, faculty, staff, students, donors, community members and all the many people with whom he has been honored to work.
“I absolutely understand that none of our achievements would have been possible without the truly remarkable group of people I have been privileged to have at my side,” Albrecht said.
He reserved a special thanks for his wife, Joyce Albrecht, for her untiring support as First Lady even as she maintained her own successful career as a development professional.
“None of this would have been possible without a loving and supportive spouse,” he said. “I have learned that the impact on families of these all-consuming jobs can be particularly great, so special thanks to Joyce for all she has done over these years.”
Albrecht will retire after more than 10 years as president. He was named USU’s 15th president and assumed his new position on Feb. 1, 2005.
Prior to being named president, Albrecht served as executive vice president and provost at Utah State. He also served as its dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences from 1998-2001.
Before arriving at Utah State, he was an administrator and professor at the University of Florida from 1993-98. He also served for 18 years at Brigham Young University (1974-92), including three years as academic vice president and associate provost. He began his career as an assistant professor of sociology at USU in 1970 through 1974.
Albrecht received his doctorate from Washington State University in 1970, a master’s degree from Washington State University in 1968 and bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University in 1966. All three degrees were in sociology.
<span style=”text-decoration: underline;”><strong>President Albrecht’s letter to the campus community follows below</strong></span>
Dear USU Faculty and Staff,
I am writing this morning to share with our campus community my decision to step down as president of Utah State University. I have communicated this decision to USHE Commissioner Dave Buhler and to our governing boards and have indicated to them that I am willing to remain in the role until they have completed a search for my successor.
This week marks the 11th anniversary of my appointment. I want you all to know that occupying this office has been, for me, a truly extraordinary opportunity and privilege. It has been my desire to give my best each day and never to take the appointment for granted. I am the son of parents who did not have the chance for a college education. Yet, through great sacrifice, they made that opportunity available to each of their six children. Higher education opened doors to worlds I never otherwise would have imagined. This is one of the reasons I have been so passionate about our regional campus and distance education programs, and about the overall mission of a land-grant university like ours. It is easy to care about a place when its very existence is based on the principles of access and opportunity for all.
By making this announcement today, our Regents and Trustees will have the necessary time for a careful and thorough search for a new president. The fortunate person they select for the assignment will inherit stewardship over a university that continues a trajectory of ever-increasing excellence. I am proud of the many things we have accomplished together that have accelerated that course. For me personally, some of the memorable highlights include:
<ul><li>We successfully navigated one of the most difficult economic crises of our generation. In large part, we were able to sustain our core mission, continue to move the university forward, and protect the jobs of our university family.</li><li>We completed our university’s first-ever comprehensive campaign during which we more than doubled our initial campaign goal, named four of our colleges, greatly expanded student scholarships and faculty support, and enhanced our visibility and reputation as a university.</li><li>We have built a much more robust regional campus system, increasing access for students throughout the State. This has also included the highly successful merger with USU Eastern.</li><li>Our research programs across campus and at the Research Foundation have continued to flourish, and new levels of funding have been reached.</li><li>We have experienced continued excellence in the achievements of our faculty as reflected in outstanding teaching, research and scholarly productivity, and growing national and international acclaim.</li><li>Student enrollments have grown across the USU system, and the preparation and accomplishments of our students continue to increase.</li><li>Fulfilling a long-time personal dream, we created a new college — the Caine College of the Arts.</li><li>Our infrastructure, both in Logan and at our regional campuses, has been dramatically changed with the addition of more than 30 new buildings to house our teaching, research, student services, athletic, and other programs.</li><li>Our student athletes continue to reach new levels of success, both in the classroom and on the athletic field, and we have stabilized our athletic future by building needed facilities and through attaining membership in the Mountain West Conference.</li></ul>
We have also shared times of great sadness. The tragic van accident that claimed the lives of eight of our students and a member of our faculty stands out, but there have been other difficult incidents that have impacted the lives of our university family. I have greatly appreciated the many ways in which we have sustained one another whenever tragedy has occurred.
I absolutely understand that none of our achievements would have been possible without the truly remarkable group of people I have been privileged to have at my side. I extend my special thanks to Provosts, Vice Presidents, Deans, Directors, Department Heads, office staff, and so many others who work tirelessly to make this university the special place that it is. Throughout the journey, I have been fortunate to have an outstanding Chief of Staff whose talent, judgment, commitment, and passion for this university have been both unfailing and essential to so much of what has been accomplished. My gratitude also extends to our remarkable faculty, students, and staff, to generous donors (many of whom have become cherished personal friends), to supportive boards and higher education system leaders, and to so many friends and supporters in the beautiful Cache Valley that is our home. It has been an honor to work with each of you.
And for me, none of this would have been possible without a loving and supportive spouse. I have learned that the impact on families of these all-consuming jobs can be particularly great, so special thanks to Joyce for all she has done over these years. She has not only given untiring support to me, but has maintained her own successful career as a development professional. The two of us have often discussed, and occasionally even lamented, the loss of privacy in our personal lives. And while such loss clearly goes with the job, I must admit that a period of increased anonymity for us both has a certain appeal.
Another retiring president once observed that you should do the presidency and not try and become the presidency. One does that best, she noted, by always remembering who you are and by recognizing that the appointment is a passage, not a lifetime assignment. That means there is a time to step away and, for me, this feels like that time. The journey has been a truly remarkable one. While I will miss the opportunity that has been mine to lead this very special place, I will also look forward to the satisfaction that will come in watching its successes under new leadership.
Stan L. Albrecht