Utah State University is turning 128 this year and is celebrating Friday, March 4, the statewide reach of its one university system and the many successes of providing opportunities for students to achieve their higher educational goals. The USU Regional Campus system is the evening’s honoree.
As Utah’s land-grant institution, USU is charged with providing an education to all who desire and qualify regardless of socioeconomic status or geography.
Hailing from Utah’s rural Wayne County, USU President Stan L. Albrecht has committed a large part of his presidency to overseeing growth and funding, both from private and public sources, for the educational opportunities in Utah provided by USU.
By continually expanding its presence across the state, USU’s Regional Campus system has grown from an enrollment of 6,991 students in 2005 to an impressive 16,420 students, including 2,500 students at USU Eastern, in 2015. This is thanks, in part, to the extraordinary partnerships involving local residents who were, and in many cases are still devoted to the expansion of higher educational opportunity within their communities.
“The initial land-grant concept was space-defined,” said Albrecht. “We’ve redefined that concept — our university is the state, no matter time or place.”
There are now countless locations across the state where USU offers classes via interactive video conferencing, face-to-face with local instructors, or online.
At the Logan campus, Founders Day begins with an hors d’oeuvre buffet in the Taggart Student Center’s International Lounge at 6 p.m., followed by a live video conference program at 7 p.m. in the Evan Stevenson Ballroom involving the USU Regional Campuses of USU-Uintah Basin, USU-Moab, USU-Brigham City, USU-Tooele, USU Eastern and USU Eastern-Blanding. The night concludes with an Aggie Ice Cream reception.
From its humble beginnings as the Uintah Basin Education Center in the late 1960s, USU-Uintah Basin is considered the flagship regional campus in the USU Regional Campus system. The Uintah Basin area, known for its spectacular vistas, Fremont Indian Art and Jurassic Era fossils, was historically isolated from the higher education institutions in Northern Utah and civic leaders were determined to bring into reality a vision of expanding the educational opportunities for residents in the communities of Roosevelt, Vernal and its surrounding areas.
Thanks to the pioneering efforts of community members in Roosevelt, the first classes were offered in the fall of 1967 in community buildings with only a handful of students. Since then, USU-Uintah Basin has grown to include an ever-increasing student population, buildings and faculty.
For students who are working, have families or aren’t able to move to Logan to take full-time, traditionally scheduled classes, USU-Brigham City provides a quality education that may not otherwise be available. Classes are taught by USU-Brigham City’s 13 full-time faculty and 17 part-time faculty as well as professors at other USU campuses via the university’s Internet Video Conferencing system.
Growing enrollments led to plans to accommodate further growth and expansion of the campus and, in December 2010, USU purchased 40 acres of land on Main Street in Brigham City on the site of the former Intermountain School that adjoined 10 acres of land previously donated to the university. Today the land is home to a newly constructed 50,000-square-foot building that is the first on the new campus. USU’s extended plans for the new campus include a regional research and development complex and additional classroom and laboratory buildings to accommodate the projected 5,000 students within the next half-century.
Nestled among thousands of square miles of amazing red rock landscapes, Moab is a world-recognized sporting and vacation destination. That notoriety has helped solidify USU-Moab’s campus and its future as a destination for education. Influenced by its spectacular surroundings, USU-Moab has five faculty members, some in direct response to community needs, including hospitality and tourism management, recreation resource management, nursing, community sustainability and social work.
As Moab grows, USU-Moab’s programs in social work, allied health and nursing will boost existing careers, positively impact the area and ensure there are people with the skills needed to take care of the community. A new USU-Moab campus represents an important opportunity to help improve the community in a way that will enhance long-term employment opportunities, diversify and grow the economy and provide young people an expanded vision of what the future may hold.
USU-Tooele did not officially get its start until the 1980s as the region’s population grew. The early success of the distance education component and increased student enrollment allowed for a building dedicated solely to USU-Tooele in 1997.
Success of USU-Tooele’s campus has reinforced extensive growth thanks to continued support of the county throughout the years, not only adding to the original USU-Tooele building, but planning a new Science and Technology building that was completed in 2015. The cutting-edge facility provides students with innovative broadcast delivery systems dedicated to science education with labs for biology, chemistry and physics, a research lab, an anatomy and physiology lab, as well as classroom space.
In 2010, the College of Eastern Utah, with campuses in Price and Blanding, joined forces with Utah State University to become Utah State University Eastern.
The Price campus has 2,017 students with access to 60 degree programs, and the highly regarded USU Eastern Prehistoric Museum. Students enjoy a wide range of course offerings previously unavailable. Likewise, students at other USU locations can now enroll in Blanding and Price classes. USU Eastern continues as a residential campus with on-campus housing, student associations, clubs and leadership opportunities, as well as its own athletic identity, home of the Eagles and part of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). USU Eastern’s stunning setting, small campus personalization, open enrollment and low tuition places it in a position of being a truly attractive choice within USU’s rich menu of campus options.
The Utah State University Eastern Blanding campus is no ordinary campus. Set in the Four-Corners region, the isolation from major population centers creates its own set of economic challenges for residents. The Blanding campus provides a way to surmount some of those challenges by equipping students with marketable skills without having to leave the area.
USU Eastern Blanding serves an eclectic blend of students from all walks of life. Traditional and nontraditional students alike have access to dedicated instructors and small class sizes, providing a vibrant, nurturing, learning environment. Sixty percent of its students are Native American, further setting it apart from any other campus in Utah. Among the 650 attending, 45 percent are under the age of 20 with 75 percent under age 30. The strong community college and transfer role of the Blanding campus is why it has flourished and continues to thrive.
Contact: Scott Olson, 435-797-0931, email@example.com