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Bernie Machen


James Bernard “Bernie” Machen served as the 13th president of the University of Utah. During his tenure, Machen built strong relationships with donors, saw the university bring in $667 million in private gifts, and achieved financial stability for University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics. Diversity was a major focus of his administration, and he introduced initiatives aimed at increasing the number of students and faculty from underrepresented groups. Enrollment of students from these groups rose 23.5% during his time in office.

Machen was at the helm when the U was on the international stage during the 2002 Winter Olympics. He served as a member of the Salt Lake Olympic Organizing Committee Board of Trustees and worked with Olympic officials on a years-long effort to transform campus. Projects included renovating and expanding Rice-Eccles Stadium to host the opening and closing ceremonies; installing light rail and improving campus roads; and building dormitories for the Olympic athletes’ village, used for student housing today.

Machen received an undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University and a doctor of dental surgery degree from St. Louis University. He earned a master’s degree in pediatric dentistry and PhD in educational psychology from the University of Iowa. Machen held faculty and administrative positions at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and University of Michigan. Past appointments include president of the American Association of Dental Schools, member of the National Security Higher Education Advisory Board, and chair of the board of the National Campus Compact. After leaving the U, he served as president of Florida University until 2014.