The Office of the President

Board of Trustees

The Higher Education Act of 1969, as amended, created the Board of Trustees as an integral part of the Utah System of Higher Education. As provided in the Act, the State Board of Regents delegates to and vests certain powers in institutional boards of trustees.

Responsibilities and objectives of the Southern Utah University Board of Trustees:

  • Facilitate communication between institution and community
  • Assist in planning, implementing and executing fundraising and development projects aimed at supplementing institutional appropriations
  • Perpetuate and strengthen alumni and community identification with the University’s tradition and goals
  • Select recipients of honorary degrees
  • Select recipients of the Board of Trustees Award of Excellence

**Please note that dates are subject to change.

Upcoming Board of Trustees Meeting Dates

  • September 27, 2019
  • December 4, 2019
  • January 17, 2020
  • March 25, 2020
  • April 23, 2020
  • July/August TBD, 2020
  • September 25, 2020
  • December 2 or 3, 2020

Rich Christiansen

Richard J. Christiansen (Chair) is the national best selling author (Wall Street Journal, Inc., USA Today) of the Zig Zag Principle (McGraw Hill, 2011). He has founded or co-founded 49 businesses, of which 16 have become multimillion-dollar successes. He is a voracious philanthropist. Much of his life has been focused on lifting, building, and mentoring youth. He and his wife are the parents of five sons as well as an adopted daughter from Nepal. He is passionate about educating youth in third world countries. Together with his family, Rich loves to spelunk slot canyons and crest the summits of high mountain peaks. Long boarding weekly with his two youngest sons and zipping down the ski slopes like a teenager are among his hobbies. He is a passionate golfer and loves fast zippy cars. Currently, he does business in 14 countries and is a principal founder of HooDoo Capital, an early-state venture capital firm.


Jodi Wilson

Jodi Hart Wilson (Vice-Chair), is known to those in the governmental arena as one of the most effective lobbyists in Utah. Her expertise and knowledge of public policy issues is respected by policy makers, business leaders and government relations practitioners alike. Jodi represents a variety of nationally known Fortune 100 companies, local companies and trade groups. She is active in serving her community and participates on many boards and associations including: President of the Utah Fallen Soldiers Assoc., Vice President and Founder of Advantage Arts Academy Charter School, President of Capitol Hill Assoc., President of the Utah Alliance for the Boys & Girls Clubs, and Board member of the National Assoc. of State Lobbyists. She is also a political affairs guest lecturer to schools, colleges and universities through the state. Jodi is a proud graduate of SUU and is married to Curry Wilson and they have a son, Cole.


Beverly Burgess

Beverly Burgess


Jeff Carr

Jeff Carr, from Dallas, Texas, currently serves as Southern Utah University's Student Body President. He is pursuing a Political Science degree with a minor in Legal Studies. Jeff previously served as Director of the Academic Clubs on campus, as well as worked as a writing tutor. He is passionate about academia and the learning process. Outside of school, Jeff is an avid trail-runner and film enthusiast. He loves SUU and celebrates its students' identity and diversity.


Shannon Dulaney

Shannon Dulaney is currently the Iron County School District superintendent and holds a rich career of education under her belt. After attending California State University Fullerton, Shannon graduated in English and then continued her education at Southern Utah University where she obtained her master’s degree in education. Since then she earned her doctorate of education from the Emma Eccles School of Teacher Education at Utah State University in 2010. Dedicating her life to education, Shannon has spent the majority of her career working with at-risk students and the teachers and administrators who serve them. She was also an assistant professor at Brigham Young University’s McKay School of Education. Shannon now resides in Cedar City with her husband Tim and their four children.


Marilee Eyre

Marilee Eyre has been a teacher at Beaver High School for 28 years. She graduated with a double major in English and Business Education from Southern Utah University, where she was the Outstanding English Student and one of four Outstanding Business Education Students. Marilee completed her Master’s in Education from Southern Utah University as well as Administrative and ESL Endorsements. She was an Adjunct Professor at Southern Utah University, and she was selected Teacher of the Year and Utah Girls Golf Coach of the Year. Marilee has served as an Advanced Placement English Literature Reader and Table Leader at the AP Reading and is an AP Consultant and Mentor for the College Board; she presents workshops for AP teachers throughout the United States. Marilee coached Debate, and her students won multiple State Championships and placed at national tournaments. She coached softball and boys golf and helped initiate the girls’ golf program in Utah. Marilee enjoys bowling, playing golf and pickleball, and camping and riding ATV’s with her family. She and her husband, Chris, have 5 children and 18 grandchildren: their oldest granddaughter is attending SUU.


Myndee Kay Larsen

Myndee Kay Larsen, a native of Twin Falls, Idaho, graduated summa cum laude from SUU with a bachelor’s of science in Communications. The only SUU women's basketball player to have her jersey retired, the legendary Thunderbird ended her career as the program's career leader in rebounds (913), blocked shots (251) and field goal percentage (.632). She still holds NCAA records for single season field goal percentage (.724). Larsen was first team all-conference, player of the year, and two time Academic All-American. She spent stints as Southern Utah’s assistant women’s basketball coach and Senior Associate Athletic Director before advancing to her current role as Deputy Commissioner of The Summit League. Larsen oversees 19 Division I conference championships annually and serves as the tournament director for the league’s men’s and women’s basketball championship—an event setting national attendance records. Larsen has worked on several national NCAA committees including The Championship and Competition Cabinet, The Leadership Council, The Committee on Women’s Athletics, and chair of The Women’s Basketball Recruiting Subcommittee. Myndee Kay has a home in Sioux Falls, SD but can most likely be found traveling to her metaphorical home in New York City wearing her favorite Thunderbird sweatshirt.


Sydney Nakken

Sydney Nakken


Vance Smith

Vance Smith currently serves Leavitt Group Enterprises (LGE) as president. Leavitt Group is the 14th largest property and casualty insurance brokerage in the nation with over 150 locations in 21 states and $2.7 billion in placed insurance premiums.

He began work with the company in 1993 while obtaining his bachelor and master degrees in accountancy at Southern Utah University where he graduated as the top accounting student and school Salutatorian. Upon completing his education, he obtained his licensure as a Certified Public Accountant. He left LGE for two years to work for Arthur Andersen, LLP, in their San Francisco tax practice and gained broader public accounting experience and expertise.

Since returning to LGE, Vance has served in various leadership capacities. As president, he is responsible for all agency operations, mergers and acquisitions, and insurer relationships.

Outside of LGE, Vance enjoys active service in the community, including serving on the National Advisory Board for the School of Business at Southern Utah University, as a former member of the Cedar City Planning Commission, and in volunteer church service.

Vance and his wife, Carrie, have been married for 26 years, are the parents of five children, and enjoy family activities, golf, and riding horses at the family’s mountain ranch.


Mike Wankier

Michael Wankier is the CFO for Larry H. Miller Management Company, the Company responsible for managing the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies.  After graduating from Southern Utah University with a Masters of Accountancy degree in 2001, Mike began a career in public accounting with Arthur Andersen, LLP in Salt Lake City, UT.  Much of the success Mike achieved during more than seven years as an auditor with Andersen and KPMG can be attributed to his experiences inside and outside of the classrooms of SUU.  After leaving KPMG in 2009, Mike worked as a controller for Pinnacle Security and Devcon Security before joining the Larry H. Miller Group on 2012.  Mike and his wife Timette, who me met at SUU, are the parents to four daughters and a son and reside in Draper, Utah.