Utah Valley University

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Utah Valley University
UVU Seal.png
Former names
Central Utah Vocational School (1941–1993)
Utah Valley State College (1993–2008)
Motto "Engage"
Type Public
Established 1941
Affiliation Utah System of Higher Education
President Matthew S. Holland
Undergraduates 31,556[1]
Location Orem, Utah, U.S.
40°16′40″N 111°42′50″W / 40.27778°N 111.71389°W / 40.27778; -111.71389Coordinates: 40°16′40″N 111°42′50″W / 40.27778°N 111.71389°W / 40.27778; -111.71389
Campus Suburban
Colors Green and White
Athletics NCAA Division IWAC
Nickname Wolverines
Website www.uvu.edu
UVU wordmark

Utah Valley University, or UVU, is a publicly funded university located in Orem, Utah, United States with a 2011 enrollment of 33,395 students.[2] Utah Valley University is the largest public university in the State of Utah. The university offers approximately 58 bachelor's degrees, 66 associate degrees, 21 certificate/diploma programs, and 3 high-demand master's degrees in education, business, and nursing.

The university’s Wasatch Campus in Heber City, Utah, also offers bachelor's degrees in business management and secondary education, as well as associate degrees in accounting, behavioral science, business management, elementary education, and general education.

Previously called Utah Valley State College (UVSC), the school attained university status in July 2008, changing to Utah Valley University. Matthew S. Holland, appointed as the first president of UVU, officially began his duties on June 1, 2009.[3]


Utah Valley University

UVU was founded in the fall of 1941, when the Utah State Vocational Office consolidated federal work program classes into one campus in Provo. At this time, the school was known as the Central Utah Vocational School.

Growth brought numerous changes to UVU over the following decades, and the school was renamed several times to reflect its changing role. In 1963, the name was changed from Central Utah Vocational School[4] to Utah Trade Technical Institute. In 1967, the school became Utah Technical College at Provo, and was given the authority to confer associate degrees for the first time. In 1977, the institution began moving to its present location, beside the I-15 in Orem. In 1987, it became Utah Valley Community College.

In 1993 the school was named Utah Valley State College and began awarding four-year degrees. The Utah legislature approved renaming Utah Valley State College as a university in February 2007 (effective July 1, 2008), allowing it to begin offering master's degrees, although the school continues to place particular emphasis on its two- and four-year degree programs.

UVU is the largest employer in Orem,[5] with over 1,400 full-time faculty and staff and over 3,200 part-time faculty and staff.[6]

When it was a community college, the school had 8,000 students enrolled, growing by approximately 3,000 students a year.[7][8] The university had 32,670 students enrolled for the 2010 fall semester.[9] 31,556 students enrolled in Fall 2012 [10]


Accreditation and admissions[edit]

UVU was accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Northwest Association of Schools in 1969, and had its accreditation renewed in 1984, 1995, and 2005. Vocational accreditation was granted in 1976, and renewed in 1990 and 1995 by the Utah State Office of Vocational Education. In December 2006, the UVU School of Business received initial accreditation from the AACSB with that accreditation being maintained in 2011.

In September 2011, President Matthew Holland reiterated UVU's position on open enrollment. In a Deseret News article, Geoffrey Fattah wrote, "Starting in the fall of 2012, UVU will implement a new 'structured enrollment' policy. While remaining open enrollment, Holland said new standards will be implemented. Applicants age 23 and under must score at least a 19 on the ACT and have a 2.5 GPA. Students age 24 and older will be expected to meet the minimum requirements on the Accuplacer entrance exam."[11]

About 88% of UVU students come from Utah but an increasing number of students come from other states, and other countries. In 2009, UVU students represented all 50 US states and 67 countries.[6]


Notable faculty include Scott Carrier, an author and radio producer whose stories have been featured on "This American Life",[12] Marty Val Hill, an NSA national outstanding professor of the year,[13] Craig Huish, an AHLEI national Lamp of Knowledge award winner as an Outstanding U.S. Educator,[14] and Jay DeSart, a geocacher, who created an election forecast model cited by The Wall Street Journal in predicting Barack Obama’s presidential win.[15][16]

Rankings and awards[edit]

University rankings
Forbes[17] 443

UVU has chosen not to participate in U.S. News & World Report college and university rankings.[18] Since 2001, UVU student teams have placed first or second overall in the national SkillsUSA competition. Prior to 2011, students from UVU place well in national Phi Beta Lambda and Delta Epsilon Chi business competitions. At the 2008 national Phi Beta Lambda conference in Atlanta, Georgia, UVU students were awarded twelve top-ten finishes.[19] More recently, students from the Woodbury School of Business have earned top finishes in the American Marketing Association competitions and various Personal Financial Planning competitions.


Computer Sciences and Engineering building

UVU's main campus is in Orem with satellite campuses in Heber City, Spanish Fork, North Orem, Provo Municipal Airport, and Lehi. UVU's main campus encompasses 228 acres (0.92 km2) and includes 48 buildings. Each building has been built using the same style of unfinished concrete with all ten of the major buildings on campus connected by 30-foot-wide (9.1 m) concourses. UVU grounds includes two reflecting ponds on the west side of campus, a stream running through the east part of campus, and a multi-dimensional fountain in the middle of campus.

UVU is home to the Utah Community Credit Union Center,[20] formerly the David O. McKay Events Center which was built in 1996 with a capacity to seat 8,500 people. The events center is governed by a board consisting of representatives from UVU, Utah County and Orem City. It not only holds campus activities and sporting events but also community events such as major concerts, trade shows and expos, high school sports tournaments, family shows, graduations, and banquets. It is also home to UVU’s culinary arts program, including Greg’s Restaurant. On average, the Events Center hosts 150-170 events per year. As many as 360,000 people patronize the Events Center on an annual basis.[21] The new library or UVU's Digital Learning Center is often referred to as the "jewel" of campus being the newest addition to campus.

Digital Learning Center[edit]

In September 2006, the school began construction of a new Digital Learning Center to replace the 35,000-square-foot (3,300 m2) Losee Resource Center (library). The "DLC" is 180,000 square feet (17,000 m2) and is located northeast of the Liberal Arts building. It opened on July 1, 2008. UVU President William A. Sederburg hired Cooper, Roberts, Simonsen and Associates and Layton Construction as the design/build team for the new Digital Learning Center, with acclaimed New York architect Jacob Alspector as lead architect. “We chose the design we’re going with because it was an exceptional design that still kept a lot of the same features of our current campus. So it looks like it’s supposed to be there yet it stands out,” said Jim Michaelis, associate vice president of Facilities Planning. The $48 million project includes networked computers, computer labs, a computer reference area (Information Commons), media center, 31 study rooms, and wireless internet throughout the building.

The library is the “greenest” state-owned building in Utah, and won two 2008 awards from Intermountain Construction magazine for its energy efficiency.[citation needed]

Science building[edit]

Newly opened for summer 2012 courses, the UVU Science Building highlights the school's mission to continuing academic excellence. The UVU Press Release for the Science Building, published April 23, 2012, states "The facility provides students, faculty and staff with much-needed breathing room that includes 27 laboratory classrooms, 18 lecture rooms, 12 research laboratories, a rooftop greenhouse and a 400-seat auditorium, the largest on campus. There are also 57 offices for faculty and staff, small seminar rooms to facilitate group discussions and spaces for cross-disciplinary collaborations."[22] The building features study rooms to the west side that have glass whiteboards as well as windows spanning the entire height of the towers. In addition, ZOOL 2320 students can enjoy the new Anatomy Lab, which has vents to decrease the concentration of Phenol in the air.


Campus at night

The university is part of the Utah System of Higher Education. The primary colleges and schools at the university are:

  • College of Humanities & Social Sciences
  • College of Science and Health
  • College of Technology and Computing
  • School of Public Services
  • School of the Arts
  • School of Education
  • University College
  • Woodbury School of Business

Other academic support programs include Distance Education, Extended Studies, Summer, concurrent, Community and Continuing Education, and Honors.[23]

Performing arts[edit]

Ballroom dance[edit]

UVU is home to one of the largest public collegiate ballroom dance programs in the United States. Over the last several years, the Ballroom Dance Company has grown into a premiere performance troupe. The company has over 130 members divided into four teams; one touring team, one reserve and two back up teams. The backup teams provide the students with the training and performance skills necessary to meet the demands of the touring team. The UVU Ballroom Dance Company has received numerous awards, honors, and accolades as they have performed and competed throughout the United States and abroad including recently winning the first ever College Dance Championship on ABC's TV series Dancing With The Stars.[24] The team is currently directed by Paul Winkleman.


UVU has ten main musical groups. The four choir groups are: Chamber Choir, Men's Choir, Women's Choir, and Concert Choir. The two orchestra groups are: Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra. Band related groups include: Wind Symphony, Jazz Band, Pep Band, and Percussion Ensemble.


The UVU Theatre program produces five shows each year on its mainstage season. In addition, the president of the university selects a title each year as part of the freshman reading program that the department stages in the university’s courtyard. The department partners with the Sundance Resort to produce Sundance Summer Theatre each year. The university creates a play which travels and performs in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as part of its annual Theatre Semester Abroad to London and Scotland. They also host the Rocky Mountain Summer Stock Theatre Auditions each year where college students from across the region audition for professional summer stock theatres. UVU is the first university in the nation to win back to back national awards from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.[25][26] In 2013 they won Outstanding Production of a Play for ‘Vincent in Brixton’ written by Nicholas Wright and directed by Christopher Clark.[27] In 2014 UVU won Outstanding Production of a Musical for the Pulitzer Prize winning ‘Next to Normal’ with book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey, music by Tom Kitt, directed by David Tinney, and music direction by Rob Moffat.[28] Other national KCACTF awards UVU repeated include Outstanding Director and Outstanding Performance by an Actress.[29]


The school mascot is the Wolverine

The school mascot is the Wolverine, and the colors are green and gold.[30] The Wolverines compete in the Western Athletic Conference.

The UVU student section is called the Mighty Athletic Wolverine League, or MAWL, a name created by former executive vice president of student government Justin Davies.

The Wolverines play their home basketball games in the 8,500-seat UCCU Center.

The baseball team plays at Brent Brown Ballpark, a 5,000-seat facility that is also the home of the Orem Owlz, a minor-league affiliate of Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, that competes in the Pioneer Baseball League.


The school has an independent, student-run weekly newspaper called the UVU Review. The newspaper began publishing under the name on June 30, 2008, the day before the university transition became official.[31] UVU Review's Editor-in-Chief was Jack Waters for the 2008-09 year, followed by Jennie Nicholls-Smith in 2009-10. The 2010-2011 staff is headed by David Self Newlin.[32] The school is also the subject of the documentary This Divided State.

Utah Fire and Rescue Academy[edit]

The school is one of few Utah universities which provides free training to Utah fire agencies. In August 2009, the university unveiled a 53-foot-long (16 m) Mobile Command Center, acquired by federal grants. The Utah Valley University Fire Academy Mobile Command Training Center cost an estimated $200,000 to $300,000 and provides both students and firefighters with realistic fire training.[33]



  1. ^ "Tab C Enrollments" (PDF). Utah System of Higher Education. Retrieved March 24, 2013. 
  2. ^ Pugmire, Genelle (October 13, 2011). "By head count, UVU now largest state university in Utah". Daily Herald. Retrieved March 29, 2012. 
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ "About UVU: Historical Development Summary". Utah Valley University. Retrieved March 29, 2012. 
  5. ^ [2] Archived July 19, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ a b "Fact Book 2009-2010" (PDF). Utah Valley University. Retrieved March 29, 2012. 
  7. ^ "UVU looking for funds to replace overloaded science building". The Daily Herald. 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-28. 
  8. ^ Michael Rigert (2009-10-06). "UVU enrollment up 8 percent, funding still a concern". Heraldextra.com. Retrieved 2013-10-31. 
  9. ^ Lenz, Sara (November 1, 2010). "UVU's record growth tests funding ability". Deseret News. Retrieved March 29, 2012. 
  10. ^ "UVU Press Releases » Blog Archive » Enrollment Dips As UVU Positions For The Future". Blogs.uvu.edu. 2015-06-18. Retrieved 2015-10-13. 
  11. ^ Fattah, Geoffrey (September 9, 2011). "Striking a balance: UVU tries to remain open to students, but deal with growth". Deseret News. 
  12. ^ "Archive". This American Life. Retrieved March 29, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Professor Honored". Deseret News. 08/10/06. Retrieved 6 September 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  14. ^ "UVU Professor Honored As Outstanding US Educator". Fox 13 News. 6 July 2011. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  15. ^ Putcha, ed, Chandra S. (2010). Methods of Forecasting American Election Outcomes: Studies in Strategies for Prediction, chapter title: A Tale of Two Models: The DeSart and Holbrook State-Level Forecast Model in 2008. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press. p. 163. ISBN 0-7734-3827-0. 
  16. ^ Pyrah, Joe (13 October 2008). "UVU Professor Says Obama Will Win Big". Daily Herald. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  17. ^ "America's Top Colleges". Forbes. Retrieved August 15, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Utah Valley University". US News. Retrieved March 29, 2012. 
  19. ^ "National Leadership Conference Results". FBLA-PBL, Inc. 
  20. ^ Genelle Pugmire (2010-08-30). "Utah Community Credit Union buys naming rights for UVU events center". Heraldextra.com. Retrieved 2013-10-31. 
  21. ^ "McKay Name Moves to UVU Education Building". Utah Valley University. January 19, 2010. Retrieved March 29, 2012. 
  22. ^ Reichman, Matt. "Gov. Herbert, UVU Celebrate New Chapter In Institution’s History At Science Building’s Grand Opening". University Marketing & Communications. 
  23. ^ "Academic Colleges & Schools". Utah Valley University. Retrieved March 29, 2012. 
  24. ^ Taylor, Chris (May 25, 2010). "UVU ballroom team wins Dancing with the Stars College Championship". Utah Valley University. Retrieved March 29, 2012. 
  25. ^ "UVU sweeps national theater honors — again". DeseretNews.com. Deseret News. Retrieved 2015-10-13. 
  26. ^ "Staging success: UVU's 'young' theater department earns honors, awards despite challenges". DeseretNews.com. Retrieved 2015-10-13. 
  27. ^ "UVU sweeps national theater award competition". DeseretNews.com. Retrieved 2015-10-13. 
  28. ^ "UVU Next to Normal Named Outstanding Musical in Kennedy Center College Theatre Festival Awards; University of Mississippi's Laramie Project Also Honored". Playbill. Retrieved 2015-10-13. 
  29. ^ "National Awards - The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival". web.kennedy-center.org. Retrieved 2015-10-13. 
  30. ^ "Utah Valley Athletics logos". Utah Valley Wolverines. Retrieved March 29, 2012. 
  31. ^ [3][dead link]
  32. ^ [4] Archived June 21, 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  33. ^ Rigert, Michael (August 14, 2009). "UVU fire academy unveils new mobile training center". Daily Herald. Retrieved March 29, 2012. 
  34. ^ "Ramsey Nijem UFC Bio". Retrieved 2014. 
  35. ^ "Biographical Information of FEC Commissioner Matthew S. Petersen". Federal Election Commission. Retrieved March 29, 2012. 


External links[edit]