WSU Board Welcomes New Trustees

OGDEN, Utah – The Weber State University Board of Trustees swore in two new members during its March meeting on Tuesday.

Ogden businesswoman Karen Fairbanks and Weber School District superintendent Jeff Stephens are the newest trustees to join the board. Fairbanks and Stephens were appointed by Gov. Gary Herbert in February.

Tuesday’s meeting was their first official duty in their new capacity.

Fairbanks, a lifelong resident of Ogden, manages Fairbanks, Inc., a national purchasing cooperative in the underground piping industry.

Stephens has dedicated his professional life to education, serving as a teacher in the Weber County School District and working his way up to superintendent in 2011. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from WSU.

“We are excited to have Karen and Jeff join the board,” said WSU President Charles A. Wight. “Their knowledge of our community along, with their ongoing commitment to education, will provide excellent contributions to our board.”

Chairman Alan Hall, vice chair Jim C. Beardall, Andrew Gardiner, Mary C. Hall, Kathryn Lindquist, Scott Parson, Steven E. Starks and Retired Gen. Kevin Sullivan round out the 10-member board, which advises and supports Wight and the university, and serves as a liaison between WSU and the community.

All of the trustees are appointed to four-year terms by the governor, except for Gardiner and Mary C. Hall. Gardiner, the student body president, serves a one-year term as part of his elected duties, while Hall serves a two-year term as chair of the WSU Alumni Association.

Karen W. Fairbanks

Karen W. Fairbanks, a lifelong resident of Ogden, manages Fairbanks, Inc., a national purchasing cooperative inthe underground piping industry, with her husband Rick. Previously, they owned and operated the industrial piping firm W.R. White Company. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of Utah. Fairbanks was appointed to the Intermountain Healthcare Board of Trustees in 2010. Previously, she served on the Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital Board of Trustees for more than 10 years and was named chair of that board in 2009. She also has served with the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District, Ogden Symphony Ballet Foundation, Ogden School Foundation Committee, Junior League of Ogden, Ogden Nature Center, McKay-Dee Hospital Foundation and Utah Girl Scout Council. She and Rick have philanthropically supported programs in business, arts and humanities, athletics, education and the library at Weber State University. They were inducted into the Ogden-Weber Chamber Wall of Fame in 2009. 

Superintendent Jeff Stephens 
Jeff Stephens began his career in Weber School District in 1984 as an English and reading teacher at WahlquistJr. High School. In 1994 he was appointed as an administrative intern and served in that capacity for one year at Roy High School. Stephens was named assistant principal at South Ogden Jr. High in 1995 and was appointed as principal in 1998. He served in that capacity until 2000, when he was named the curriculum and instruction director for Weber School District. In 2004, the Weber School District Board of Education appointed Stephens to the position of assistant superintendent, where his responsibilities included involvement with curriculum and instruction programs, Career and Technical Education and the Weber School District Foundation. In April 2011 he was named as superintendent of Weber School District. Stephens received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Education degrees from Weber State University, his Administrative/Supervisory Endorsement in 1993 and his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Utah State University in 1994. He also has received an Advanced Reading Endorsement from the Utah State Office of Education. Stephens has provided leadership in local, state and national professional organizations and has been presented with numerous recognitions, honors and awards for his leadership and abilities. 

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Charles A. Wight, president
801-626-6001 •
John Kowalewski, University Communications
801-626-7212 •