Cedar City • The Utah Board of Regents signed off Friday on an approximately $130,000 expansion at the institutional home of Utah Valley University President Matthew Holland.
"He's the first president we've actually had who has had children living in the home," said Val Peterson, vice president for finance and administration at UVU. "They're just at a stage in life they need additional space that works a little better for their family situation."
Holland, UVU's sixth president, and his wife Paige have four children, ages 8 to 15.
The 610-square-foot expansion, paid for with donated money, will add a bedroom, bathroom, utility room and expand slightly the size of the family room on the first floor. The four-bedroom, 4,740-square-foot home is owned by UVU. About a third of the space is dedicated to more public functions such as entertaining donors, Regents, trustees, visiting speakers and freshman reading groups hosted by Holland, Peterson said.
Its location on the Orem campus lets Holland be closer to his family, Peterson said.
"The role of a president is very demanding. It allows him to be able to get home once in a while," he said.
At 47, Holland is somewhat young for college president, a job he was chosen for in June 2009. Before that, he was an associate professor of political science at Brigham Young University. Holland, the son of former BYU president and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland, graduated from the university with honors in 1991 the same year the UVU residence was constructed.
As is typical for university presidents, Holland moved into the home when he took over and uses it for free. The price tag is an estimate based on the cost of adding on "in such a way that it fits with the rest of the house," Peterson said.
The addition came before the Board of Regents because it is required to approve all alterations over $100,000. Greg Stauffer, associate commissioner for planning, finance and facilities, questioned whether that is necessary, saying that it can be intrusive into presidents' personal lives.
"We may have to see if there's a way to broaden it a little more so that the [individual colleges'] trustees can approve these," he said.