Karen Fairbanks and Jeff Stephens were sworn into the Weber State University Board of Trustees on Tuesday during their first official day of duty in their new positions.
In February, Gov. Gary Herbert appointed Fairbanks and Stephens to four-year terms like all trustees, excluding the student body president, who serves one year, and the chair of the WSU Alumni Association, who serves two.
Fairbanks has served for more than 10 years on the Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital Board of Trustees, and was made chair of that board in 2009. She has helped and served with numerous projects and groups around Ogden such as the Ogden Symphony Ballet Foundation, the Ogden Nature Center and the Utah Girl Scout Council. Fairbanks and her husband are known around WSU for their open support of different departments. They were recognized for their actions by being inducted into the Ogden-Weber Chamber Wall of Fame in 2009.
“Their knowledge of our community, along with their ongoing commitment to education, will provide excellent contributions to our board,” said Charles Wight, president of WSU.
Stephens is a graduate from WSU with a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Education degree. He began as an English teacher at Wahlquist Junior High School in 1984, and has dedicated his life to education since then. He worked his way up from being a teacher and was named assistant principal of South Ogden Junior High in 1995. He was later appointed principal in 1998 and continued that position until its end in 2000. He was appointed as assistant superintendent in 2004 and named superintendent of Weber School District in 2011.
“Of course, this was Gov. Herbert’s choice, but we’re happy to have them,” Wight said. “Stephens has been a superintendent of Weber School District. An important thing that Weber is doing is drawing a better alignment between Davis, Morgan and Weber County school districts. We’re hoping to better prepare students in high school to go off to college.”
Chairman Alan Hall, vice chair Jim Beardall, student body president Andrew Gardiner and the rest of the 10-member board welcomed the new additions to the board. David Wilson, who recently was voted as the new student body president, also expressed his excitement for the new members.
“I think the best thing about this is that Stephens graduated with a bachelor’s and master’s from Weber State University,” Wilson said. “He has made his life his career, and still wants to continue his legacy at Weber State.”
The Board of Trustees helps to advise and support Wight and WSU. The board acts as a point of contact between the community and WSU.