Rule of three: schooling, teaching, administration

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Posted Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 5:26pm

After directing music for over three decades, Dr. Greg Benson is trading in his baton for a full-time administrative job at the Utah System of Higher Education in Salt Lake City.

“Omne trium perfectum” means everything that comes in threes is perfect. Although Benson disagrees with his career being perfect, he says, “ I break my career down into three parts”—teaching at the public school level, teaching in higher education, and administrative responsibilities.

Benson started teaching in 1980 in Michigan’s public schools as a band director for several years. During that time period, he earned a master’s degree at Bowling Green State University, and afterwards a doctorate at Michigan State University.

After finishing the doctoral program, Benson accepted a teaching position at Westark College in Fort Smith, Ark., from 1992-99. Having seven good years teaching music classes and directing the concert band along with music department chair duties, Benson and his family wanted a change and accepted a job as the instrumental music director at the College of Eastern Utah.

As Benson reflects fondly on his time at the college, again the highlights are broken down three fold. Facilitating the development of the wind symphony is at the top of his list. With its growth came opportunities for students and outlets for members in the community. Next would be Benson’s time serving as the dean of arts and sciences. And last would be his administrative duties at interim vice president and vice chancellor during the merger of Utah State University with the College of Eastern Utah.

During his time serving as dean and interim vice president, he led several national faculty searches, allowing the hiring of new faculty members able to produce results to lay the foundation needed to help the institution and community grow during and after the merger.

Benson and his family feel fortunate for spending 14 years here and are grateful for the ties they will always have, with individuals in the community and the college. Alas, all good things come to an end, and they feel it is time again to move on.

Earlier this month, Benson accepted a position with the Utah System of Higher Education as assistant commissioner for academic and student affairs. It is a leadership and coordinating role in Utah higher education. Duties include reviewing new degree proposals, acting as a higher education representative, working with academic discipline groups, etc.

Benson is excited for “a whole new set of people to meet and work with,” but is grateful for the individuals he feels fortunate to have worked with for so long. He says “if it weren’t that we’re staying in Utah, moving would be even harder than it is, but at least we take comfort in the thought that we’re still nearby.”

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