President’s Bio

Ruth V. Watkins

As the 16th president of the University of Utah, Dr. Ruth V. Watkins is focused on ensuring the U builds on its legacy of innovation, discovery and delivering outstanding value in higher education and health care. For students, this means an excellent and affordable educational experience culminating in timely degree completion. For patients, it means innovative, compassionate and affordable care. To enable the University to continue to excel in research, teaching and patient care, Dr. Watkins is committed to providing faculty and staff with unwavering support and resources. Before her appointment as president in 2018, Dr. Watkins served as senior vice president for academic affairs. She came to the U in 2013 from the University of Illinois, where she spent 20 years in faculty and leadership roles. Dr. Watkins earned master’s and doctorate degrees at the University of Kansas, where she studied communication development and disabilities in young children.

U Rising PodcastU Rising Podcast Logo

On the "U Rising" podcast, President Ruth V. Watkins engages in insightful conversations with students, staff, faculty, alumni and community stakeholders who are at the center of the state's flagship research university. President Watkins also connects with other leaders to give listeners a fresh take on top issues and innovations in higher education in Utah and across the country. You can subscribe to U Rising via iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher and other podcast streaming services.

Thriving when faced with life challenges and stressors—and the not so-secret keys to happiness

Ed Diener is known as “Dr. Happiness” for good reason: For the past 30 years, he has researched subjective well-being—what makes people feel satisfied and happy in their lives. Ed and his wife Carol created a program called Enhance to teach others how to cultivate well-being and now they’ve joined with U student Alex Becraft to launch a new program, Well-Being Elevated, focused specifically on helping college students boost well-being, develop resiliency and thrive when faced with life challenges and stressors. To join a group at the U, email Alex at alexander.becraft@utah.edu. Recorded on Thursday, May 21, 2020. Thanks to Brooke Adams and Dave White for technical assistance. Music by Taylor Hartley. Read the full transcript.

#NewToTheU: Meet Connor, Maggie and Olivia, members of the Class of 2024

Connor, Maggie and Olivia are #NewToTheU. Learn why they chose the U and about their degree aspirations. We can’t wait to welcome them and other members of the Class of 2024 to campus! Recorded on Tuesday, May 19, 2020. Thanks to Brooke Adams and Dave White for technical assistance. Music by Taylor Hartley. Read the full transcript.

Gretchen Dietrich: UMFA and the magic of helping people discover art

Gretchen Dietrich is the executive director of the Utah Museum of Fine Art and in this episode of U Rising she shares how the museum and its staff are working to stay connected with patrons, what reopening the museum may look like and the extraordinary work of the museum’s staff to send out 1,500 art kits. Recorded on Tuesday, May 19, 2020. Thanks to Brooke Adams and Dave White for technical assistance. Music by Taylor Hartley. Read the full transcript.

Jimmy Turner takes over at Red Butte Garden

Jimmy L. Turner is the new executive director of Red Butte Garden and in this episode of U Rising he shares what has surprised him about Utah, how the garden plans to reopen and why he thinks gardens sow hope. Recorded on Tuesday, May 19, 2020. Thanks to Brooke Adams and Dave White for technical assistance. Music by Taylor Hartley. Read the full transcript.

Ivory Prize honors housing innovators

The state of Oregon and cities of Minneapolis and Austin are innovating to address the housing affordability problem that has challenged communities across the country. Clark Ivory, CEO of Ivory Homes, shares what these locales are doing and describes the three winners—Entekra, Symbium and Rhino— in the 2020 Ivory Prize for Housing Innovation. Recorded on Thursday, May 7, 2020. Thanks to Brooke Adams, James Tombs and Dave White for technical assistance. Music by Taylor Hartley. Read the full transcript.

The story of four heroic U students

When a patron at the George S. Eccles Student Life Center experienced a medical emergency, these four University of Utah students came to his aid—drawing on their training and working as a team during the crisis. Here’s what happened. Recorded on Tuesday, April 28, 2020. Thanks to Brooke Adams, James Tombs and Dave White for technical assistance. Music by Taylor Hartley. Read the full transcript.

Utah’s System of Higher Education: A look at the coronavirus response and what’s ahead

Dave Woolstenhulme, commissioner of the Utah System of Higher Education, shares his views on the response of colleges and universities to the coronavirus pandemic, the CARES Act and the new board that will unite career and technical schools and the state’s colleges and universities. Recorded on Wednesday, April 29, 2020. Thanks to Brooke Adams, James Tombs and Dave White for technical assistance. Music by Taylor Hartley. Read the full transcript.

Videos

A message to our campus, March 16, 2020

Message to Campus Community Regarding COVID-19

THE AAU AND U

Meet President Watkins 

The University of Utah & Adobe

U OF U SILICON SLOPES SUMMIT 2020

President Watkins' Inauguration Address

President Watkins on One U