2020 Utah Legislative Session and Higher Education

Feb 6, 2020

2 min

The 2020 Utah State Legislature opened last week, and it was a busy one. 

The first three weeks of the session include appropriations committee meetings. There are two that we watch closely and in which we participate as a higher education institution: Higher Education Appropriations Committee (HEAC) where our general operations and budget is considered, and Infrastructure and General Government Appropriations (IGG) where capital expenses like additional motor pool vehicles and buildings are discussed and prioritized. Our priority with this committee is influencing their prioritization of our Academic Classroom Building, a $45 million project for which SUU received planning money last year.


SUU President Scott L Wyatt will present in HEAC on Thursday, February 6 and in IGG on Friday, February 7. The meetings are streamed live, so you can listen in. Visit le.utah.gov and click on the calendar tab to see which meetings take place on which days. If you can't listen live, the meetings are recorded and you can check it out at a time convenient for you. 



The Utah Summer Games and the Utah Shakespeare Festival have already presented in committee to request funds. The Festival's touring company of Every Brilliant Thing received recognition on the House floor culminating in a House Proclamation. We also had time to visit with Governor Gary Herbert and his Chief of Staff Justin Harding, a proud SUU alum. Governor Herbert continues to be impressed with the work we do at SUU and has said to President Wyatt, "I look to you for innovation in Higher Education." 


That is exactly what we will be promoting on SUU Day, Tuesday, February 4. We will begin the day will SUU Aviation landing helicopters on Capitol Hill, followed by a showcase of programs in the Rotunda from 12-3 p.m. The Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service has made arrangements to bring a group of students for a Capitol Hill experience and we anticipate MPA students, past and present, from throughout the state will also be joining us.  #suuonthehill


Senator Evan Vickers, Representative Rex Shipp, and Representative Brad Last are the elected state officials that represent Cedar City and Iron County. Each provide regular updates if you want to follow them on Facebook.


This is my seventh session representing SUU and I love the opportunity to promote the great things we do at SUU. Those efforts are aided by the seven outstanding SUU students serving as legislative interns in the House and the Senate. 




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1 min

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2 min

Dr. Jackie Grant Awarded Renowned Fulbright Fellowship

Southern Utah University is pleased to announce that Dr. Jacqualine Grant, associate professor of geosciences, museum curator, and published scientific illustrator, has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award to conduct conservation biology teaching and research in New Zealand. Dr. Grant is among very few that have received the Fulbright Scholar award and is the first female recipient from SUU. Dr. Grant will perform research and lead seminars at Massey University in Palmerston North as part of a project to understand native plant diversity and its cultural significance. She will also spend five months at the New Zealand Indigenous Flora Seed Bank working with colleagues to identify the components of the Maori seed-banking protocol that can be applied to a Paiute seed-banking program. “Being awarded a Fulbright in 2019 was both very exciting and stressful because of the timing,” said Dr. Grant. “I received news of the award just months before everything shut down due to COVID-19. The project’s original date was set to begin in 2021, but my host country, New Zealand, closed its borders to most travelers until the summer of 2022. It's a huge and humbling honor to be awarded a Fulbright, and the award comes with a big responsibility because you are expected to represent the people of the United States.” Led by the United States government in partnership with more than 160 countries worldwide, the Fulbright Program offers international educational and cultural exchange programs for passionate and accomplished students, scholars, artists, teachers, and professionals of all backgrounds to study, teach, or pursue important research and professional projects.

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