R. William Funk & Associates Selected to Find President for Weber State University

August 21, 2018 – As the new academic year gets underway, a number of universities across the country are looking to install new leaders. R.William Funk & Associates, which specializes in recruitment for roles in higher education, was recently tapped by the Utah System of Higher Education to find a new president for Weber State University. Charles K. Wight stepped down from the role in May to become president of Salisbury University in Maryland.

Norm Tarbox, vice president for administrative services, is serving as interim president until a successor is in place. The role is expected to be filled by the end of the year.

“We are pleased to have been retained by the Utah System of Higher Education to consult on its search for a new president of Weber State University,” said R. William Funk, president of the Dallas-based recruitment firm. “We worked with the system earlier this year on its successful University of Utah president search and are delighted to continue our relationship with USHE.”

“Weber State University is a dynamic university located in a very attractive part of the country,” he said. “We believe the opportunity to lead this fine institution will attract a large and strong pool of candidates.”

Under state law, the Utah State Board of Regents is charged with appointing new presidents for the state’s public colleges and universities. The commissioner of higher education is creating a comprehensive and active recruiting plan to ensure a strong, diverse pool of potential candidates, said the search firm.


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The board of regents wants a visionary leader who will accelerate Weber State’s upward and outward trajectory to help students succeed through learning, scholarship and community leadership.

Successful Candidate

Candidates should be proven leaders at a comprehensive academic institution, with responsibility over traditional programs and an appreciation for the liberal arts and the roles of career and technical education. “Ideal candidates should have a record of administrative and scholarly achievement in higher education, be relentless fundraisers and have the ability to effectively communicate with a diverse range of constituents, elected officials and organizations,” said Mr. Funk. “We welcome your best nominations for this excellent leadership opportunity.”

Related: Academic Sector Pumping Big Fees Into Search Firms

According to the search firm, successful candidates will have a demonstrated passion for student success and nurturing strong student relationships. Weber State’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is central to its mission and evident through its campuses and curriculum, said the search firm. Candidates must be inclusive in their methods and perspectives, creating an environment where these practices can flourish.


Recruitment for Higher Education Leaders Heats Up and Shifts
Executive search for higher education and academia is undergoing a tremendous transformation. Technology is having a big impact. Diversity is also making its impact felt. Even certain roles are not the same as they were just a short time ago. Talk about a sector in transition!


Located in Ogden, UT, Weber State is an open admission institution, serving over 27,000 students from some of the most ethnically and economically diverse cities in Utah. The university cultivates remarkably personalized teaching, mentoring and engaged learning throughout its 225 undergraduate certificate and degree programs, and 15 graduate degrees. 

Higher Education Specialists

R. William Funk & Associates has conducted more than 400 searches for university and college presidents and chancellors over the last 35 years. It recently placed Steven Leath as the 19th president of Auburn University.

Among the nearly 70 current presidents or chancellors that Mr. Funk has helped recruit, many are at some of the nation’s most respected universities. Here’s a sampling: Michael V. Drake, president of Ohio State University; Max Nikias, president of the University of Southern California; Carol Folt, chancellor of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Teresa Sullivan, president of the University of Virginia; Bernadette Gray-Little, chancellor of the University of Kansas; Robert Barchi, president of Rutgers University; Mitch Daniels, president of Purdue University; James Clements, president of Clemson University; and G.P. Peterson, president of Georgia Tech.

Mr. Funk has been called the “guru of higher education recruiting” by the Chronicle of Higher Education and is listed as one of the 200 best executive recruiters in the world in the Global 200 Executive Recruiters: An Essential Guide to the Best Recruiters in the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Related: Why Universities Have Stepped Up Efforts to Involve Search Firms

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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