We want to add our welcome to Utah Valley University’s new president, Astrid S. Tuminez.
The Board of Regents’ choice for president of UVU forecasts an outside-the-box, updated direction for the quickly growing state university.
Tuminez comes to UVU from Microsoft, where she was the regional director for corporate, external and legal affairs in Southeast Asia. She has a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University, a master’s degree from Harvard University and a doctorate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as a publications list that runs two pages long.
A university with a leader experienced in international business can only help Utah’s ability to attract foreign investment, export goods and provide skilled workers for our increasingly global economy.
The Tribune’s Tiffany Caldwell reported that Tuminez “was the vice dean of research and the assistant dean of executive education at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. She has consulted the U.S. Institute of Peace, has been the director of research at AIG Global Investment Corp. and has worked at Carnegie Corp. of New York. Her career also took her to Moscow, where she oversaw an office of the Harvard Project on Strengthening Democratic Institutions.”
Born and raised in the Philippines, Tuminez speaks five languages and has an additional working knowledge of Spanish. She also speaks Mormon, which is almost a necessity in Utah Valley.
But she had us at Harvard and MIT.
Tuminez is an experienced, knowledgeable and innovative executive, and she will be a great asset to UVU.
As president of UVU, Tuminez joins Ruth Watkins, president of the University of Utah since earlier this year; Noelle Cockett, president of Utah State University since 2016; and Deneece Huftalin, president of the Salt Lake Community College since 2015, as the first female presidents of their respective institutions.
And Westminster College, a private school in Salt Lake City, has just named its second female leader, Bethami Dobkin.
For Utah higher education, it is the Year of the Woman.
It’s about time. In a state that sees as many women as men attend college, but too many women not finish, and not continue to pursue graduate-level degrees, women at the helm of Utah’s four largest institutions of higher education will set a great example of achievement. The fifth largest — Weber State University — is currently looking for a new president as well.
Graduation isn’t the only hurdle women in Utah face while going to college. Incidents of sexual harassment and assault are just now getting the attention, and investigation, they deserve. Cockett’s quick action to accept responsibility and make immediate changes to USU’s music program shows the difference a female president can have on issues that particularly affect women.
Dr. Tuminez, welcome. We’re glad to have you.