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No 2nd term for former U. president

Contrary to published reports, former University of Utah President David P. Gardner is not returning to the U. for a second term as president.

Gardner, who was the U.'s 10th president between 1973 and 1983, told the Deseret News Friday that he was asked to consider returning to the post. He met with the search committee, Commissioner of the Utah System of Higher Education Cecelia Foxley and major donors."I never agreed to be a candidate. I did agree to consider the matter," Gardner said. After mulling it over, Gardner told state higher education officials he did not wish to be a candidate.

"For me to do this would mean I'd be willing to return to something I did 15-20 years ago," Gardner said. "It just wasn't in the cards."

Gardner, 64, serves as president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in Men-lo Park, Calif. He also is chairman of the George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Foun-da-tion.

He left the U. to lead the University of California system, the largest in the world. In 1981, he was appointed chairman of the National Commission of Excellence, which released the landmark report "A Nation at Risk."

Asked if recent tensions between the Legislature and the state's higher education system colored his decision, Gardner said "things weren't too good" when he started as U. president in the early 1970s.

"After about a year, a year and a half into my administration, we managed to get it turned around," he said.

Gardner said he took a pro-active approach, meeting with lawmakers at their homes and places of work. He'd meet them for breakfast or lunch. He recalled meeting a lawmaker in his apple orchard.

Gardner told members of the search committee that he believes "the job requires someone willing to take the time to do that."

Kenneth G. Anderton, chairman of the Board of Regents, said Gardner is "one of those people who is in the upper echelon of these positions. We would be very pleased to find someone like a David Gardner. Unfortunately, he is not available."

Anderton said the search committee hopes to wind up the search within the next 30 to 60 days.

"You need to understand these processes take turns that are not predictable. The availability of candidates comes and goes with windows of time. That (time frame) isn't a guarantee."