Dixie State University president Stephen Nadauld, who oversaw the college's transformation into a university, announced his retirement Wednesday, marking the third university president in Utah to leave in the past year.
Nadauld, 71, took over as interim president in 2008 after the sudden departure of President Lee Caldwell. In an unusual step, the Utah State Board of Regents made his position permanent two years later without a national search.
Nadauld oversaw the institution's nearly four-year-long process of becoming a university, which culminated in February despite controversy over whether to keep the name Dixie, a word associated with the Southern Confederacy.
Nadauld also oversaw student enrollment growth that made the school the fastest-growing in the system, new construction on campus and the expansion of degree programs and faculty.
"As I have thought about how this presidency at Dixie has been an incredible capstone to a long career, I am filled with gratitude to all who have made it possible and so enjoyable," Nadauld said, calling his time there an "extraordinary experience" as he announced his retirement to faculty and staff this afternoon, according to a Wednesday statement from the school.
A finance professor by training, Nadauld rose through the ranks at Brigham Young University's Marriott Graduate School of Management before serving as president of Weber State University from 1985 to 1990. Originally from Idaho Falls, Idaho, he holds a doctorate from the University of California-Berkeley, an MBA from Harvard Business School and a bachelor's degree in chemistry from BYU.
He's also served as a mission president in Switzerland and a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Dixie statement said.
Nadauld will finish out the academic year as president, and stay in the position until a new president is chosen.
Also announcing a departure this month was Salt Lake Community College president Cynthia Bioteau, who will become president of Florida State College. Southern Utah University president Michael Benson made public his departure for Eastern Kentucky in April. The searches for new presidents for those institutions are ongoing.
"President Nadauld has been a transformative leader for Dixie State University," said Utah Commissioner for Higher Education David Buhler in a statement. "Not only did he lead the transition to becoming a state university during challenging economic times, but he has guided the building of a physical campus that positively reflects Dixie's growing mission."