Taylor R. Randall was selected by the Utah Board of Higher Education to serve as the 17th president of the University of Utah on August 5, 2021. He comes to the position after serving as both dean of and an accounting professor in the David Eccles School of Business.
In the first week of his presidency, Randall established a campus-wide transition team to set about the task of developing a strategic plan to help the university thrive under his leadership. Randall charged the transition team to be bold, quoting Nobel laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.”
The president and the transition team determined that four cross-cutting objectives would serve as the bedrock of his administration: equity, diversity, and inclusion; campus safety; sustainability; and academic freedom.
From these objectives Randall seeks to launch a series of initial programmatic areas of presidential focus that include:
- Research innovation and creativity—continue the U’s momentum as a leader in research scholarship, and generation of knowledge that seeks to solve major challenges.
- Student experiences—identify areas to expand and deepen all dimensions of the student experience.
- One U—work across disciplines and boundaries to maximize the university’s effectiveness and in turn better serve the community, state, and beyond.
Randall assumes the presidency of the University of Utah at an inflection point in the nation’s history, as colleges and universities implement plans to return to campus 18 months into the COVID-19 global pandemic. He hopes to bring to the U’s COVID-19 response the experience he gained recently as Utah’s economic lead on the Unified Command for COVID-19 recovery.
While serving as dean from 2009-2021, Randall worked to earn the David Eccles School of Business (DESB) a national reputation as a place of innovation. His efforts dramatically increased the value of a DESB education: The school now holds top 10 entrepreneurship rankings for both undergraduate and graduate programs, and seven of the school’s programs are currently ranked in the top 25 in the nation.
Under his leadership, the business school also expanded experiential learning opportunities with the creation of the Goff Strategic Leadership Center, the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, the Marriner S. Eccles Institute for Economics and Quantitative Analysis, and the Sorenson Impact Center, offering students unique experiential opportunities in fields ranging from finance to social impact to policy creation.
Randall began his career at the U as a professor of accounting from 1999-2009. He received awards for the best teacher in the MBA, Executive MBA, and undergraduate programs, as well as the Brady Superior Teaching Award, which is a career achievement award. Under his guidance as faculty director, the University Venture Fund (a real-world investing learning experience) became the largest student-run venture fund in the country. His academic research has examined the interactions between strategy, technology, products, and value chain structure, with an emphasis on how these interactions affect financial performance in organizations. His professional experience includes consulting positions with Arthur Andersen & Co., General Motors Corporation, Dupont, MPM/Speedline Technologies, O.C. Tanner Company, Vista Staffing Solutions, and American Investment Bank.
He graduated from the University of Utah in 1990 with honors in accounting and earned an MBA and a doctorate in operations and information management from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He follows in the footsteps of both his father and grandfather as a third-generation U alumnus and professor. His father, Reed Randall BA’63, was also a professor of accounting, and his grandfather Clyde Randall BA’32 JD’53 served as dean of the DESB from 1958-68.
Randall and his wife, Janet, have four children, one daughter-in-law, and one son-in-law. He loves spending family time playing games, relaxing in the backyard, mountain biking, road biking, golfing, and all things sports-related.