Hawks said that those changes include new signs on Main Street. Rather than pointing the way towards USU - Moab, the signs now read Utah State University-Moab. “[The changes were done] with the idea that visitors to Moab would understand that Utah State University has a presence in Moab,” Hawks said.
Other changes include hiring a new marketing director, as well as new faculty.
“We have been able to hire our first full-time faculty member... in Recreation and Resource Management, which is a Natural Resource degree,” Hawks said. The campus will also offer a new program in tourism and hospitality management.
Hawks said that the school is also close to hiring a full-time nursing program faculty member, which will enable them to offer a two-year registered nurse program.
“Shortly after that we hope to be able to do a BSN [Bachelors of Science in Nursing], ” he said.
Hawks said that enrollment has roughly tripled in the last three years, and he’s hoping it will continue to grow. “We need to have a substantial presence in Moab that will justify the next step, which is to build a regional campus in Moab,” he said.
Hawks said groundbreaking for the new destination campus is still three to four years away.
“Identifying the design and the costs, and appropriately balancing those costs... is the process we’re going through right now,” he said. “I anticipate that’s going to take a couple of years.”
During that period, Hawks said that they expect that the $15 million that the Walker family donated toward the development of the campus will become available.
Hawks said that USU is very interested in the idea of Moab as a destination campus.
“All of our other campuses serve their local population. That’s what they’re designed for. They don’t really have a mission beyond that,” he said. A large campus in Moab could potentially bring in a lot of students, because of Moab’s draw as a destination.
Hawks said that the school’s 30-year master plan contemplates serving up to 3,500 students.