President's Council Members

President Holland

MS 186 President

Before his appointment as President of Utah Valley University, Dr. Holland was an associate professor of political science at Brigham Young University, where he taught courses in political philosophy and American political thought. A popular teacher, his commitment to applied learning concepts led to his selection as BYU’s “Civically Engaged Scholar of the Year” in 2008 by Utah Campus Compact. His scholarly research on how ideals of Christian charity influenced the development of American political life garnered national attention. In 2005, he won Princeton University’s James Madison Fellowship. In 2007, his book, Bonds of Affection: Civic Charity and the Making of America, was published by Georgetown University Press, and selected as an “outstanding academic title” by Choice Magazine.

He graduated from Brigham Young University with honors in 1991, and was valedictorian for the political science department. That same year he was awarded the Raoul Wallenberg Scholarship for a year of graduate study at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Before going on to earn his master’s degree and Ph.D. in political science at Duke University, President Holland served as chief of staff for the top executive of the international consulting firm Monitor Group and, later, as special assistant to then-Governor Michael O. Leavitt.

Currently, he serves on numerous community boards, including the editorial advisory board of the Deseret News and the boards of the Utah Valley and Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce. He and his wife, Paige, have four children, Jacob, Mitzi, Grace and Dan.

dylan swarts

Swarts, Dylan

Dylan Swarts was appointed as a member of the UVU Board of Trustees on May 2, 2015. He was born in Las Vegas, NV and moved to Utah a few years before graduating at Alta High School. Dylan came to UVU in 2010 to study Accounting with a minor in Spanish. He has served as the Senator for the Woodbury School of Business, Vice President of Traditions of the Student Alumni Association, President of Musician Ignition, and now serves as the Student Body President.

While in office, he and his team plan to focus on uniting UVU through collaboration with campus organizations, informing and staying accountable to the student body, actively advocating for students, and building UVU pride.

Dylan plans to graduate in 2017, then pursue a Master in Business Administration or Accounting, and start a career in accounting or venture capital. Dylan loves extreme sports and playing guitar. He has a great amount of passion and love for UVU and hopes to serve and advocate for the students to the best of his abilities.

David Connelly

MS 185 President, Faculty Senate

David has been with UVU since 2008. He is serving as the Faculty Senate President and as the Department Chair in History & Political Science in the College of Humanities & Social Sciences as well as teaches as an Associate Professor. He received his Masters in Public Administration from the Romney Institute of Public Management at BYU and his Doctorate in the same field from Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy at the University at Albany.

David's background is in organizational behavior and public administration. Many of his years of experience and research have been in the field of non-profit business.

karen clemes

Karen Clemes

General Counsel

Karen M. Clemes is Utah Valley University’s first-ever General Counsel, bringing a broad range of in-house and large law firm experience to UVU with an emphasis in labor and employment law. She provides legal and strategic counsel to the University and works in conjunction with the Utah Office of the Attorney General.

Karen specializes in legal issues related to employment, benefits, ethics/compliance, risk management, investigations, drafting and negotiating commercial and other agreements, employee and management training, and litigation defense. She has served as Associate General Counsel for, been Of Counsel with Ballard Spahr LLP and was Director of the HR Legal Division and Chief Standards (Ethics) Officer for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For nearly a decade she was an associate and then partner at the California law firm Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps LLP. She has also worked as a law clerk for the Hon. David R. Thompson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Karen earned her juris doctor at California Western School of Law, where she graduated summa cum laude as first in her class. She completed her master’s degree in humanities and bachelor’s degree in comparative literature at BYU. She previously served as an adjunct faculty member at San Diego State University, Mesa College, and Palomar College, and currently teaches Employment Law at BYU’s J. Reuben Clark Law School.

Linda Makin

MS 117 Vice President, Planning, Budget, and Human Resources

Linda L. Makin serves as the Vice President for Planning, Budget and Human Resources at Utah Valley University. The division of Planning, Budget and Human Resources includes Planning, Budgets, Institutional Effectiveness,

Institutional Research and Information, Human Resources, and Policy. Linda manages UVU’s Planning,

Budgeting, and Assessment (PBA) process and serves as the university’s chief budget/planning officer and as the university’s policy administrator.

Linda earned a master’s degree in public administration from Brigham Young University in 2007, a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Utah Valley University in 2002, and has over 29 years of higher education experience. Linda has received several awards including CFO (Chief Financial Officer) of the Year 2009 by Utah Business Magazine, 2007 UVU Board of Trustees Excellence Award, Fall 1997 PACE Distinguished Employee Award, and 1998 CCBO Regional Outstanding Business Officer. In 2010, Linda was elected to the Board of Trustees of the

Utah Foundation and serves as a member of the UVU Alumni Board.

Cameron Martin

MS 294 Vice President, University Relations

Dr. Cameron K. Martin is the Vice President for University Relations at Utah Valley University with responsibility for state and federal legislative affairs, economic development, community engagement, campus events, and public relations and marketing. Dr. Martin rejoined the UVU administrative team in October 2012, after working four years for the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) as the Associate Commissioner for Economic Development and Planning. While at USHE, Dr. Martin had stewardship for economic development, strategic planning, presidential searches and evaluations, policy administration, system student affairs coordination, and special projects, initiatives and events for USHE.

Dr. Martin earned a baccalaureate degree in political science with a minor in gerontology and a master’s degree in public administration from Brigham Young University. He completed his Ph.D. in educational leadership at BYU with a research focus on the role and organizational value of an interim university president.

Dr. Martin and his wife, Julie, are the parents of three daughters and reside in Provo, Utah.

sherry harward

Sherry Harward


Sherry Harward is the Creator and Director of the UVU CareerPassport Program, an award-winning, non-graded program that helps UVU student actively engage in their career development process. Sherry has been employed at UVU for over 20+ years and has held several positions including adjunct instructor, “Women in Technology” Creator/Director, Assistant CTE Director, Office Education Advisor, Multimedia Advisor, and administrative assistant for several departments. She has also owned several businesses in the entertainment industry. Sherry has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Leadership and Communications and a Masters in Leadership. Sherry is passionate about career and personal development, entrepreneurship and the creation process, leadership, marriage and relationship topics, technology, spirituality, fashion, health, women's topics, and music. Sherry is married to her best friend (Scott Harward) and has four fabulous children (and their spouses) and 8 and three-fourths darling grandchildren, all of whom she adores and enjoys spending time with. Sherry is a strong advocate for UVU employees (and students) and is honored to serve as the PACE President for 2015-2017.

fidel montero

Fidel Montero

Chief of Staff

Fidel Montero was appointed President Holland’s chief of staff in July 2014. A first-generation high school graduate and an immigrant to the United States, Montero is simultaneously committed to academic excellence and access. His knowledge of K-16 educational systems and tremendous skills in interpersonal communication, systems analysis, board management, and educational innovation has been a vital asset to the President’s Office.

Prior to joining UVU, Montero served as principal of Alta High School for three years. For the last year he also served as a member of the UVU Board of Trustees. He previously spent eight years in the Provo School District as an assistant principal at Timpview High School and a teacher at Dixon Middle School. Montero is a published author and scholar and continues to lead school improvement efforts through his work as an independent consultant. His areas of emphasis include comprehensive school reform, systems development, and quantitative analysis. He has worked in education settings that include New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, and throughout the state of Utah.

Montero received his doctorate and master of education degree from Columbia University and master and bachelor degrees from Brigham Young University.

Karen Olsen

MS 186 Administrative Assistant to the Chief of Staff

Karen Olsen serves the University President as executive secretary and as the secretary to the UVU Board of Trustees. Her responsibilities in the President’s office include including initiating and coordinating correspondence and communication; providing administrative support for executive level university meetings; and coordinating special events and projects. She manages the office budgets; responds to inquiries and comments from internal and external constituents, and acts as liaison for the President’s Office. She also serves as secretary to the UVU Board of Trustees, and is liaison and administrative support for them.

Karen has served 20+ years in administrative support to both the president and vice president for academic affairs at UVU, and received the Executive Division Award of Excellence in 2011. She has an AA degree with emphasis in business education from Snow College. In addition to serving on presidential level councils, she is a member of the Commencement Committee, Emergency Preparedness Advisory Council, and Events Communication Committee, and has served several terms on the staff association board. She also coordinates the university awards of excellence recognition event at UVU. She and her husband, Elden, are the proud parents of four UVU alumni.


Jeffery E. Olson

MS 194 Senior Vice President, Academic Affairs

Jeffery E. Olson was appointed senior vice president for academic affairs in July 2014. He earned a doctorate in administration and policy analysis with a higher education concentration from Stanford University and a juris doctorate from the University of Utah. His cross-disciplinary training makes him a strong proponent of general education and leaves him well-equipped to manage issues across the academic spectrum.

Prior to coming to UVU, Olson worked as the associate provost for academic assessment and the director of the division of library and information science at St. John’s University in New York City. During his 26 years at St. John’s he provided academic leadership for Institutional Planning and Online Learning and Services and served as an associate professor in the Department of Administration and Instructional Leadership.

Before St. John’s, Olson spent seven years as assistant dean and then associate dean of the University of Utah College of Law. With a wide and demanding portfolio, Olson is known as an academic leader with national expertise and a genuine enthusiasm for UVU’s unique educational mission.

Val Peterson

MS 196 Vice President, Finance and Administration

Dr. Val L. Peterson is VP of Administration and Legislative Affairs at Utah Valley University. The responsibilities of this position include overseeing a budget of more than 22 million dollars, administrative responsibilities for facilities, grounds, maintenance, human resources, business office, purchasing, bookstore, printing services, police department, parking services and fleet services, information technology, telephone services, and media services. He is also the government relations liaison for the University. In 2009 he was named Chief Financial Officer for Government entities by Utah Business magazine.

Val started at UVU in 1987 and has served in a variety of capacities such as Associate VP for College Relations and VP for College Relations. He has a Ph. D. in Educational Leadership from BYU and holds a Masters in Strategic Studies from the United States War College. He has served in the National Guard for the past 26 years and is currently the Brigade Commander of the 300th Military Intelligence Brigade(Linguist).

Originally from Idaho, Val and his wife Ann are the parents of three children. Val is very appreciative of all the support from his wife and children. He also wishes to thank the President’s Cabinet, Associate Vice Presidents and co-workers for our success in building UVU into what it is today and what it will be tomorrow.

Kyle Reyes

MS 186 Special Assistant to the President for Inclusion Assistant Professor, Secondary Education

Kyle A. Reyes currently serves as special assistant to the president for inclusion, providing leadership and active support to all divisions across campus for implementing initiatives that focus on UVU’s core theme of inclusion. He also teaches multicultural education and inclusive educational leadership within the School of Education. He served as assistant to President Holland from 2009 to 2014.

Prior to his appointment in the President’s Office, Reyes worked at UVU for six years primarily in the development of programs and services for underrepresented students and communities. In 2007, Reyes created UVU’s nationally award-winning Latino Initiative to increase student achievement among the growing Latino community. Reyes has received a number of awards for his work in community outreach, service learning, and inclusive initiatives, including the National Association of Multicultural Education Exemplary Educator for Diversity Award. He has taught communication and educational leadership courses at UVU and the University of Utah. Reyes currently serves on a number of community boards and co-chaired the College Access Network for the Utah System of Higher Education from 2012 to 2014. Reyes’ scholarship focuses on the development of educational spaces for underrepresented student success in K-16 settings.

Reyes received his Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy from the University of Utah and was the recipient of the Elmo R. & Frances Bennion Morgan Fellowship. He earned his bachelor’s degree in graphic design and master’s degree in education leadership from Brigham Young University. Reyes is the adviser for UVU’s Hip Hop Club.

Michelle Taylor

MS 255 Vice President, Student Affairs

Michelle O. Taylor was appointed as Vice President of Student Affairs at Utah Valley University in June 2013. Her eighteen year career in higher education with her specialty in social work administration and policy has helped the institution navigate several major transitions. Prior to her present appointment she served for three years as Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management and six years as Associate Vice President of Student Services/Dean of Enrollment Management.

Following her graduation from the University of Utah with a Masters of Social Work, MSW, in 1995, Taylor worked as the Director of Accessibility Services at Utah Valley State College. At that same institution she accepted the position of Associate Dean of Student Services/American Disability Act Campus Coordinator. After earning her Masters of Public Policy Administration, MPA, and Social Work Administration, Ph. D, in 2002, she became the Acting Vice President of Planning, Information Technology, and Student Services/Acting Dean of Student Services.

Throughout her career, Taylor has initiated a wide range of strategies for the benefit of students and the academy. She has been a trusted friend and advocate of students, focusing on students with diverse backgrounds and learning disabilities. She has co-written and secured grants for a wide range of program initiatives, serves on numerous boards and committees, and presents at multiple national and international conferences annually. She has received many honors including the Outstanding Professional, Adjunct of the Year, and Excellence in Leadership, and the UVU Board of Trustees Award of Excellence.