Karras Elected WSU Board of Trustees Chair

OGDEN, Utah – Nolan Karras was elected chair of the Weber State University Board of Trustees at its monthly meeting Sept. 6. Trustee Louenda Downs was elected vice chair.

“I am proud to continue my association with my alma mater — an association that dates back to the late 1960s,” Karras said. “It is an honor to serve as chair of the trustees and further promote all the outstanding work and success happening at Weber State.”

Louenda Downs and Nolan Karras, Sept. 6

Karras, the CEO and chairman of The Karras Company Inc., a national financial advisory firm graduated from Weber State College in 1970. He was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 2013. Karras is also co-chair for Education First, a statewide, citizen-based political action committee that promotes education. A certified public accountant, Karras was elected to the Utah Legislature from 1981 to 1990, where he served as speaker of the house. He spent 12 years on the Utah Board of Regents, including four years as chair from 2001 to 2005.

A WSU trustee since 2014, Louenda Downs is a former Davis County Commissioner and Commission Chair. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Weber State in education with an emphasis in art and music. After teaching elementary-aged children in Davis County for seven years, Downs was elected to serve eight years on the Davis Board of Education, and was a member of the Utah Board of Education State Association Board.

The election of Karras and Downs was the first order of business for the board, which also welcomed its newest member, Greg Woodfield, 2016-17 WSU student body president. Woodfield will serve a one-year term on the trustees as part of his duties as president.

As a trustee, Karras succeeds Alan E. Hall, who had served as chairman of the WSU board since 2010. Hall will remain on the Board of Trustees until his successor is approved by the Utah State Senate and sworn-in at next month’s meeting.

Eight of the university’s 10 trustees are appointed by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and approved by the Senate before being sworn in. Appointees are eligible to serve two four-year terms.

The student body president and the alumni association president Heather Hales, which are not appointed positions, serve one- and two-year terms respectively.

Karen Fairbanks, Scott Parson, Steve E. Starks, Jeff M. Stephens and Kevin Sullivan round out the 10-member board.

Visit weber.edu/wsutoday for more news about Weber State University.


Charles A. Wight, president


Allison Barlow Hess, director of Public Relations