The student was stabbed multiple times in the chest, back and legs, Richards said. He was undergoing surgery Sunday evening and was listed in critical, but stable condition, he said.
The knife used in the stabbing appeared to be a steak knife with a blade about 4 to 5 inches long. It wasn't immediately clear whether the father had taken the knife from the apartment kitchen, Richards said.
The student, who is married, was alone in the apartment with his father when the stabbing occurred, Richards said. "We don't have any witnesses that we are aware of right now."
Police have not released the name of the student or his father.
The father also suffered some minor head injuries which investigators believe were self-inflicted.
"There is some evidence that he had hit his head against the wall a couple of times," Richards said.
After being evaluated at University Hospital, the father was transported to the Salt Lake County Jail Sunday evening and booked for investigation of attempted homicide and aggravated assault, Richards said.
An investigation is ongoing.
"It's a very unusual thing," Richards said of the campus stabbing. "The last time we had this [type] of crime was a corrections officer who was shot at the orthopedic center."
Veteran Utah Department of Corrections officer Stephen Anderson was shot and killed June 25, 2007 after transporting an inmate to the U. for a doctor's appointment. Curtis Allgier wrestled the veteran prison guard for his gun and then used it to kill Anderson after being unshackled for an MRI. Allgier eventually pleaded guilty to the fatal shooting and is now is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole at the Utah State Prison.