As 2017 ends, so does former President Stan Albrecht’s official time at Utah State University.
Albrecht has continued to work for his first year after retiring in January.
In an Oct. 5, 2016 letter, the Utah State Board of Regents requested that Albrecht remain available for one year to generally assist USU, President Noelle Cockett and the Utah System of Higher Education. In return, he would receive his previous salary — $396,801 — for the year.
“It has been very beneficial,” said David Buhler, the Utah Commissioner of Higher Education. “I’m glad it’s worked out the way we hoped it would.”
During this “transition year,” Albrecht focused his time and efforts on fundraising, both via legislation and private donors, and working with USU’s regional campuses — particularly in trying to achieve Native American Land Grant status for the Blanding campus.
Albrecht said stepping away from his position as president was a major transition, so it’s been healthy for him to remain involved at the university.
“I started 54 consecutive Septembers on a university campus,” he said. “This September felt different.”
Cockett, who has worked with Albrecht in USU administration since 1999, said it was a relief to have him “just a phone call away” during her first year as president. Rather than telling her what she needed to do when she contacted him, he acted as a “sounding board” for her, which she found helpful, she said.
“He knows what I’m going through,” Cockett said. “He’s such a great friend, as well as a mentor.”
So far as president, Cockett said one of the most important things she has realized is how much people love and care about USU.
“It keeps making me want to do good things for the university,” she said.
Albrecht’s parting advice to USU students is to work hard and be prepared for opportunities to grow.
“I never got into this business intending to be a university president,” he said. “Just work hard and take advantage of the opportunities as they come.”