A Story Greater Than Ourselves

President Astrid S. Tuminez

Dear UVU Community,
What an extraordinary few months it has been for me as president of Utah Valley University! Thank you for the kindness, warmth, and genuine friendship that you have extended to me since I began my tenure in September. My family and I have had smooth and rough spots in our transition to a new life, but not once have we doubted that UVU is exactly the place where we want to be. We have been energized by the people here, and have loved every musical, academic, art, and athletic event we’ve attended.
During these last few months, I have spoken to our faculty, staff, and students in large and small settings, soliciting candid feedback in a still-continuing “listening tour.” These conversations have helped me better understand the culture, needs, and strengths of our university. I have also had the opportunity to speak to numerous external stakeholders and now better appreciate UVU’s role as an economic engine for our service region and state, as well as a critical player in Utah’s higher education landscape.
As we celebrate the accomplishments of the past and pivot to meet the challenges of the future, I would like us to focus on UVU as a place where we INCLUDEall who want to receive a meaningful postsecondary education. We are in the business of preparing people for work and life. We remain committed to open admissions and to the integrated mission of a community college and university. 
UVU is also a place where we ENGAGEin rigorous and meaningful academic preparation and experiential learning. But our engagement does not stop there. Each of us engages deeply by bringing our best selves to work every day; owning our responsibilities as students, staff, faculty, and administration; and harnessing our resources for the most impactful use.
Finally, UVU is a place where we help one another and our larger community to ACHIEVEdreams and aspirations in education, employment, and a dignified life. We are focused on student success. This means not only terminal degrees, but an overall positive university experience that helps each member of our community move forward with hope and resilience.
To INCLUDE, ENGAGE, and ACHIEVE, we will focus on a culture of exceptional care, exceptional accountability, and exceptional results. We will always aspire to be better than what we are. Among other things, this means stretching ourselves to promote the well-being of our students physically and mentally; improving student completion and retention rates; helping our students develop character; behaving with the highest integrity and ethics; using our resources wisely; achieving greater victories in athletics; and setting new standards in the arts. As president of UVU, I am committed to reinforcing and living our values and working with all of you so UVU can shine brighter.
As you read this edition of UVU Magazine, I hope that you will see the exceptional culture that allows our students to thrive, and the efforts we make to include, engage, and achieve. This is evident, for example, in the programmatic excellence of our Woodbury School of Business and in the academic success of our student-athletes. You will also see the strengths of UVU’s culture and mission as you read about our theater alumnus, Chase Ramsey, now a star on Broadway. And I’m sure you will smile as you learn why, according to The New York Times, “penguins are human too,” an insight from novel research into penguin paternity done by students and faculty in our biology program. Finally, articles on our aviation and forensics programs, as well as our Outdoor Adventure Center, will underline that we are doing exceptional work in supporting student success.
Thank you for the support that you provide the nearly 40,000 students who call UVU their academic home. We are proud of the institution and culture that we are building. We are part of a story and a purpose truly greater than ourselves. 
Warmest regards,
Astrid S. Tuminez