Bachelor of Arts in International Relations, Stanford University
Masters of Arts in Social Science of Education, Stanford University
Doctor of Philosophy, Middle East Studies, University of Oxford
Since becoming Southern Utah University’s seventh provost, Dr. Bradley J. Cook has advanced an ambitious academic agenda to establish SUU as a national leader in student-centric, highly engaged learning environments.
Led by Provost Cook, SUU has accomplished broad and deep improvements in academics and student life. As the primary architect in designing SUU’s Academic Roadmap, the academic climate of the campus has been strengthened through a variety of initiatives. SUU has risen to national attention for its innovative EDGE program (Education Designed to Give Experience) which adopts high impact learning practices for all of its graduates, giving them the “edge” in landing graduate school admissions as well as successful professional careers.
Under his academic leadership SUU has increased its graduation rate by nearly 17 percent, and its retention rate by 5 percent. In each successive year, SUU experienced its best academically prepared class in its history three years running. The average GPA of SUU’s incoming students has increased from 3.4 to above 3.6 during that time period. Average ACT scores have increased from 19 to 23 over the same time frame. National rankings for the university have climbed making “Best College” lists by several publications. Princeton Review recently named SUU a “Best Value College,” the only Utah institution to make the list. SUU has the 3rd lowest student debt in the entire West and offers one of the best value propositions in the nation as identified by the 2012 US News and World Report. Significant progress has been made during his tenure to increase the diversity of the student body, growing minority student-enrollment by 44 percent and international student-enrollment by 312 percent
Dr. Cook holds the rank of full professor within the Department of History. He has over 20 years of administrative experience in higher education, fourteen of which have been spent as a provost or president. He has been a passionate educator and he continues to be an active teacher/scholar in his department and in the Honors Program.
Dr. Cook has a deep-seated commitment to global awareness and international education. Prior to his SUU appointment, Cook served as the president of the Abu Dhabi Women's College, an institution serving nearly 3,000 Emerati female students in the United Arab Emirates. Prior to his time in Abu Dhabi, Dr. Cook served as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Utah Valley State College in Orem, Utah, where he academically re-positioned the institution for university status (now Utah Valley University). Nineteen academic programs and eight centers and institutes were established during his tenure there.
As a student, Cook completed with honors, his Bachelor of Arts in International Relations at Stanford University. He also was a starting cornerback for the Stanford University football team. As an athlete he received many honors such as Kaplan Scholar Athlete, National Scholar Athlete: US Army Reserve, and First Team Academic in the All Pacific-Ten Conference. Cook continued his education at Stanford, eventually earning a Master of Arts in Social Science of Education. Upon completion of his Master's degree Cook took a position as the special assistant to the president at the American University in Cairo, marking the beginning of his higher educational and international career.
In 1991, Cook moved to the business world as the director of government relations for International Bechtel, Inc. in Kuwait. In 1993 he returned to the States to serve as an assistant to the president for special projects at then Utah Valley State College (UVSC), a cabinet-level position on that campus. While at UVSC, Cook also taught in the Department of History and Political Science, teaching courses in Middle East politics, international relations, and global communities.
In 1995, Cook returned to the classroom as a student at the University of Oxford in Great Britain where he earned a doctorate degree in Middle East Studies as a Rotary Ambassadorial Fellow at St. Antony's College. Upon completion of his doctorate degree, Cook returned once again to Utah and in 1997 he became an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Foundations at Brigham Young University. There he taught many undergraduate and graduate courses related to international development and comparative education.
Cook returned to UVSC in 1999 as the Vice President for Advancement and College Relations. In this capacity, he spearheaded many fundraising projects to further advance the college. He also managed the successful transition of the college's athletics program from the junior college ranks to the Division I level of collegiate competition. He later advanced to the position of Vice President for Academic Affairs at UVSC, serving as the chief academic officer and the senior vice president responsible for the academic affairs of the college and providing leadership for all educational planning, administration and academic program development. All the while, Cook continued teaching courses in international relations, Middle East politics, and comparative religion at UVSC and earning tenure.
His latest scholarly work, “Democracy and Islam: Promises and Perils for the Arab Spring Protests,” in the Journal of Global Responsibility, was recognized by the Emerald Literati Networks as 2013’s Outstanding Paper. He is also the author of the book, Classical Foundations of Islamic Educational Thought, published by Brigham Young University Press. He has special research interests in Islamic educational theory, comparative religion and international and comparative education. Dr. Cook is active in his academic field, chairing and presenting regularly at international conferences and symposia as well as maintaining a consistent research and publication agenda. His publications can be found in a variety of academic journals.