The Office of the President

Board of Trustees

The Higher Education Act of 1969, as amended, created the Board of Trustees as an integral part of the Utah System of Higher Education. As provided in the Act, the State Board of Regents delegates to and vests certain powers in institutional boards of trustees.

  • Responsibilities and objectives of the Southern Utah University Board of Trustees:
  • Facilitate communication between institution and community
  • Assist in planning, implementing and executing fundraising and development projects aimed at supplementing institutional appropriations
  • Perpetuate and strengthen alumni and community identification with the University’s tradition and goals
  • Select recipients of honorary degrees

2014 Proposed BOT Dates
  • January 31, 2014
  • March 27, 2014
  • May 1, 2014
  • June 12, 2014
  • August 22, 2014
  • October TBD
  • December 5, 2014

**note that dates are subject to change.

Ann Marie Allen

Ann Marie Allen Born and raised in central and southern Utah, Ann Marie Allen brings to her post as trustee a wealth of institutional knowledge and commitment to the University’s ongoing success. Daughter to Kay L. McIff, a member of the University’s Board of Trustees when Southern Utah State College became Southern Utah University, Ann Marie is the second of her family to stand as trustee and leader of SUU. A 12-year resident of Cedar City herself, Ann Marie and her family are heavily involved in the campus and local communities in both voluntary service and as deputy Iron County attorney, commissioner for the Utah Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission, an appointee to the Utah State Indigent Defense Taskforce, and partner for the Barnes & Allen Law Firm in Cedar City. She also presently serves as a Rotarian and was distinguished as a Paul Harris Fellow within that organization. Ann Marie earned her juris doctorate from Brigham Young University. She is married to Randy Allen, a professor within SUU’s Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice, and the couple has three children.

Matt Cannon

Matt Cannon With a legacy of athleticism and scholarship, Matt Cannon returns to SUU as trustee, helping to direct the University's ongoing progress. Cannon is an attorney for Ray Quinney & Nebeker, a post he assumed after serving a judicial clerkship with the Honorable Paul G. Cassell at the U.S. District Court. Cannon received his bachelor’s degree at SUU in English and political science at the end of a four-year career as starting quarterback, slotback and punter for the SUU Thunderbirds. Cannon set four NCAA Division I records and numerous SUU records, securing him a spot in an elite group of just three Thunderbird athletes to have their number forever retired. He went on to play professional football in Germany, then returned to Utah and completed a juris doctorate at Brigham Young University in 2006. Cannon and his wife Jen are the parents of four children and reside in Salt Lake City.

Marshall Erb

Marshall Erb, a native of Eugene, Oregon, who now lives in Draper, Utah, has worked in accounting and finance throughout his professional career since completing the accounting program at Portland State University. As the owner of KME Associates, he has also worked at EnergySolutions as treasurer and senior vice president, was the chief financial officer at Enviocare of Utah, and was the western region director for finance and accounting for XO Communications. With a penchant to give back, Marshall has served as an influential member of many corporate and startup company boards and on several community boards and committees on every level, from the political to those within his local neighborhood. When he is not in the office, Marshall enjoys fly fishing, golfing, snow skiing and baseball. He and his wife Debora have been married for the past 28 years, and the couple has raised three daughters. Their youngest, Michelle, is a proud SUU graduate.

Nate Esplin

Nate B. Esplin is a native of Cedar City and earned his Bachelors of Science and Master's degrees in accountancy at SUU. After graduation, he earned his CPA designation and worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers accounting firm. From there, Nate began working at the Leavitt Group Enterprises in 2000 where he is currently the Chief Financial Officer for various subsidiaries. Other positions Nate has held within the Leavitt Group include cash manager, controller and treasurer. Throughout, Nate has remained active within his community, and is currently president-elect on the governing board for the Foundation of Valley View Medical Center and is also the community representative on the SUU Board of Trustees audit committee. Nate and his wife Lindsay remain in Cedar City with their four children.

Sherrie Hansen

Sherrie Hansen runs her own State Farm Insurance business in Cedar City and has worked in the insurance and financial services for 24 years. She is licensed as a Registered Representative for State Farm VP Management and is also a member of The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors where she served as the IFAPAC Chair for the southern Utah organization. Sherrie is no less dedicated to her community and serves on several committees and boards, including the Safety Solutions Coalition, the Veteran Memorial Park Committee, the Chamber of Commerce Board and the Professional Advisory Committee for Planned Gifting at SUU. She is also an active member of the Rotary Club of Cedar City and was the club's first female president. Sherrie enjoys spending time with her husband Scott, hiking, reading, gardening, fishing and spending time with her children and seven grandchildren.

Photo Coming Soon

Jeff Hertig has served in the Southern Utah University Student Association (SUUSA) for three years and is now honored to be representing students as their student body president and as a trustee. Hertig found his way to SUU from his hometown in Bountiful, Utah after finding a scrap of paper on the ground with SUU's logo at the top. Though he had never heard of SUU before that moment, it soon became his second home. Having been involved in many organizations on campus, Hertig loves to brag about his education at SUU and never fails to sell the opportunity T-Birds have to "experience more.” An accounting major, Hertig met his wife, Heidi, who is studying dance education, while they both were serving in SUUSA. Both will have their bachelor degrees by July 2014 and look forward to Hertig moving onto SUU’s Master of Accountancy program. Jeff and Heidi will always be proud to be T-Birds.

Carolyn Higbee

Carolyn Higbee A native of Cedar City, Carolynn Higbee is a stay at home mother who attended Southern Utah University after first graduating from Cedar High School. Before joining the University’s board of trustees, Carolyn served on the board of the SUU Alumni Association for two years. Beyond campus, Carolyn has volunteered with the Cedar City Little League organization for more than 15 years and is also the PTA secretary for South Elementary and secretary for the Cedar High booster club, a position she has held for many years. She has volunteered for the community’s Alzheimer's support group and Meals on Wheels in Iron County, and has also held many leadership service positions in her church. Carolyn is married to Thomas Miles Higbee with whom she has five sons and eight grandchildren. Among her immediate family are eight SUU graduates.

Jim Johnson

Jim Johnson has worked as superintendent of the Iron County School District since 2003. Prior to moving to Iron County, Superintendent Johnson served as the assistant superintendent in the Washington County School District for six years. With a total 32 years in education, Jim has been a classroom teacher, a coach, an assistant principal and a high school principal. Jim is currently serving as a member of the Board of Trustees for Southern Utah University, the Utah School Superintendent Association, and the Northwest Accreditation Committee for the Utah State Office of Education. He and his wife, Deb, now call Cedar City home.

Eric Leavitt

Eric O. Leavitt is the President of Leavitt Group Enterprises, Inc., the parent company of The Leavitt Group — a network of over 115 independent insurance agencies located in 14 states. After attending Southern Utah University, Eric graduated from the University of Utah in 1986 and then in 1988, earned a master's degree from the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Rochester. Before joining The Leavitt Group, Eric worked for five years in the independent power industry developing cogeneration projects in Massachusetts, Vermont, Utah and California. He serves on the Board of Directors of Zions Bank and also on its Trust Committee, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers. Eric resides in Cedar City with his wife Melissa and their six children.

Mark Russell

William Mark Russell currently serves as president of Southern Utah University's National Alumni Association. Following high school graduation in Rockford, IL, Mark returned to his native Utah to attend Southern Utah State College (now SUU). He obtained a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1974 and then went on to earn an MBA from the University of Utah in 1975. While attending SUSC, Mark served in student government as attorney general and was the recipient of the Outstanding Student in Business award. Mark currently serves as a member of the SUU Board of Trustees, and has served as a director and trustee on several other boards. He is a financial advisor with MetLife Securities and has earned his firm's Senior Financial Services Executive designation. Mark and his wife Jeri (an SUU alumna) have spent several years representing the University as admissions advisors, sponsoring open houses and assisting in student recruitment in the Salt Lake area. They are the proud parents of four children, all of whom have attended SUU.