President's Council Members

President Matthew Holland

MS 186 President

Matthew S. Holland was appointed the sixth president of Utah Valley University in 2009. Under his leadership, UVU has completed a remarkable transition from state college to full-fledged university and adopted an inclusive, engaged, and serious institutional charge focused on student success. Offering certificates through masters degrees, UVU is today the largest university in the state of Utah and remains committed to its unique dual mission as an institution that is both an academic university and a thriving trade school.

President Holland earned a B.A. in political science from Brigham Young University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from Duke University. He also earned a graduate certificate at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for the study of ethical political leadership. Alongside his many administrative demands at UVU, President Holland has stayed active in his academic discipline, publishing and guest lecturing at universities such as Stanford, Harvard, and Notre Dame. He was named a Visiting Fellow in the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. And, in the summer of 2017, he was named a Senior Associate at Pembroke College at the University of Oxford.

He and his wife, Paige, are the parents of four children, Jacob, Mitzi, Grace, and Dan.

Craig Thulin

Craig Thulin

MS 179 President, Faculty Senate

Dr. Thulin is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry. His doctoral work was in interdisciplinary molecular and cellular biology. He first joined the faculty of Utah Valley State College in 1996 as an adjunct instructor of general biology and genetics. He returned as an Assistant Professor in 2006.  He received his Biochemistry from the University of Washington, Seattle, and his B.A. in Biology from the University of Utah. Previously, Dr. Thulin served as an Affiliate Research Collaborator, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Brigham Young University; an Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Utah; and, an Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Brigham Young University

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.

Scott Cooksey

Scott Cooksey

MS 111 Vice President Development & Alumni

Scott Cooksey began at Texas Tech in 1997 as director of development and external relations for the Texas Tech University College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. In 2008 Cooksey was named associate vice chancellor for Texas Tech University System. In February 2015 he was selected to be senior associate vice chancellor for Institutional Advancement. He began his current position at UVU in January 2016.

In 2012, Cooksey’s fundraising accomplishments were recognized with the Outstanding Fundraising Professional Award from the Lubbock Association of Fundraising Professionals. He has also received the Founders Distinguished Service Award from the National Agricultural Alumni and Development Association and the Institutional Advancement Excellence Award from the Texas Tech University System.

Prior to joining Texas Tech, Cooksey was director of development for a large nonprofit organization in Atlanta. He has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Texas Tech University and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE).

Rob Smith

Rob Smith

MS 220, Student Body President

Rob Smith began his term as Student Body President on May 1, 2017. He was born and raised in Orem, Utah, and attended Mountain View High School where he played on the basketball team and was on Student Government. Rob has enjoyed being actively involved at UVU during his education, serving on the LDS Institute Council and working most recently as a Presidential Intern for the 2016-17 academic year. He served a leadership role over the program's activities and direction, and he greatly appreciated the opportunity to work with UVU's President's Council and specifically with the Chief of Staff.

Rob is excited for the opportunity to serve as the Student Body President at UVU. He has developed a great love for the university and plans to bolster it as it continues on to new heights. He intends to focus on UVU's core theme of Student Success as he works alongside his Council.

Rob is currently studying Political Science with a minor in History. He intends to pursue a Masters in Public Administration upon graduation from UVU and hopes to engage in a life-long career in Higher Education. Rob is happily married to his wonderful wife, Kati, and they are the proud parents of their son, Thomas.

Linda Makin

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. This division includes Institutional Effectiveness, Planning and Accreditation Support; Institutional Research; Budget Office; Policy Office; Human Resources; and Office of Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Title IX. Linda manages UVU’s Planning, Budgeting, and Assessment (PBA) process and serves as the university’s NWCCU Accreditation Liaison Officer. Linda has over 37 years of higher education experience.

Linda earned a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from UVU and a master’s degree in public administration from Brigham Young University. She has received several awards including CFO of the Year 2009 by Utah Business Magazine (joint award with VP Peterson) and 2007 UVU Board of Trustees Excellence Award. Linda is active in the community and serves on the Board of Directors for Utah Community Credit Union and the Utah Foundation.


Cameron Martin

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.

Shalece Nuttall

Shalece Nuttall

MS 286 President, PACE

Shalece Nuttall has served as President of PACE since the fall of 2016. She also serves as the Manager of Academic Advising/Student Success in the College of Health and Public Services. She first began working at Utah Valley State College in August 2003 as an Office Assistant in Legal Studies. She received her M. Ed. in Educational Psychology from the University of Utah. She received her A.S. and B.S. in Paralegal Studies from Utah Valley State College.

Outside of UVU, Shalece loves to spend time with her husband and four (rambunctious) kids. She enjoys spending time in the outdoors, watching action films, and reading a good book. She is a major University of Utah fan.

justin jones

Justin Jones

Chief of Staff

Justin Jones became the Chief of Staff to President Matthew S. Holland in August 2016. In this position, he oversees and directs the operations, project, and events that promote Presidential activities and initiatives that align with overall university strategies, goals, policies, and plans. Additionally, he serves as the liaison between the President and divisions of the University, assuming the responsibility for communicating with other members of the administrative team and the university community.

Prior to joining UVU, he was the Executive Director of Prosperity 2020 and Education First and also worked as the Vice President of Public Policy and Communications for the Salt Lake Chamber. Before his work at the Chamber, he directed all communication and marketing efforts for Rio Tinto Kennecott and served as the Senior Advisor to the President of the Utah Transit Authority. Justin received his Masters of Intermodal Transport Management from the University of Denver and a B.S. in Business Administration from Utah Valley State College.

Justin is married with four children. They reside in American Fork.


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

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 Council, 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

Kyle Reyes

MS 255 Vice President, Student Affairs

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.

Mark Wiesenberg

Mark Wiesenberg

MS 184 Associate Vice President, Human Resources