In his 2012 State of the University address, President Matthew Holland explained that upon his arrival as UVU’s new university president, one of the first data points made known to him was the unusually low percentage of women entering higher education. In his speech, President Holland states:
"Utah’s female participation rate of 44% is an inverse of the rest of the nation which sits at 56%. Compared to all other 50 states, Utah is dead last in terms of the percentage of female students enrolled in postsecondary institutions. And UVU sits as the lowest of the low at 43%".
Since UVU has the absolute lowest nationwide statistics for women graduating, the need to address the issue is critical. UVU sees the significant need to take the lead with regard to women and education. According to the Utah Women & Education Project (UWEP), there are two parts to the concern:
Formal postsecondary education is a critical foundation for Utah women of all ages to be able to fully develop themselves toward reaching their inherent potential. At UVU we are striving to support women in entering and completing postsecondary degrees or certificates as well as increasing the number of females in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.
Increase the number of women who enter Utah Valley University and complete postsecondary degrees or certificates.