Higher education briefs

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

U. eyes old Coca-Cola bottling plant

The University of Utah plans to buy a large concrete building just south of downtown Salt Lake City to store the massive amounts of digital data generated by the state's major research, academic and medical complex.

The U. Board of Trustees on April 28 authorized a $4.5 million purchase of the MCI building on West Temple between 800 and 900 South. The 72,285-square-foot building, which is being eyed by another potential buyer, sits on the 3.2-acre lot that once was the site of a Coca-Cola bottling plant.

At that price, the U. would acquire the space at $62 per square foot - significantly less than it would cost to build a new structure on campus, which lacks the electrical capacity to power the facility, according to a report to the state Board of Regents. But the U. plans to invest another $6.4 million retrofitting the building with electrical infrastructure, offices, air conditioning and network connectivity.

The building is a windowless bunker shell, held up by 18-inch reinforced concrete walls. Should the sale go through, University Hospital may use the north end of the building for storage and the Utah System of Higher Education and other state agencies likely would lease data-storage services housed there.

- Brian Maffly

Utah State gets new dean of Humanities

Utah State University has chosen a new dean for its College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences.

After a nationwide search, the school chose an administrator from Washington State University.

Yolanda Flores Niemann is Washington State's special assistant for accreditation and distance education.

She has worked at Washington State since 1996 and has also been chairwoman of the Department of Comparative Ethnic Studies, director of Latino outreach, and assistant to the provost overseeing outreach and faculty affairs.

Flores Niemann will begin her new job at Utah State on July 1.

- The Associated Press

3 candidates picked for student regent

The Utah Council of Student Body Presidents (UCSP) has selected and forwarded three candidates for student regent to Gov. Jon M. Huntsman Jr.

Once Huntsman selects his appointee, the student will be the 32nd student regent to serve as a voting member of the board since the Legislature created the position in 1977.

The three candidates to serve a one-year term beginning July 1 are:

* Anthony Frustaci, Utah State University

* Peter McChesney, Utah State University

* Basim Motiwala, University of Utah