SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Board of Higher Education on Saturday announced the appointment of Dr. Michael Good as interim president of the University of Utah.

Good will serve as president while the board continues its national search to replace President Ruth Watkins, who announced her resignation on Jan. 12 that will be effective in April. The board anticipates having a new president in place by the fall, but will need additional time to find “the most qualified candidate,” it reported on Saturday.

In early February, the board named a 28-member committee to conduct its search for the next president. The committee will hold public meetings to explain the search and seek input on qualified candidates. Once they identify three to five candidates, the board will conduct interviews and make its selection.

University of Utah President Ruth Watkins moving on after 3 years

Watkins, the U.’s 16th president, is leaving her helm at the research university to lead national research, philanthropy and policy efforts at Strada Impact’s Education Network.

Strada is a national social impact organization dedicated to strengthening the pathways between education and employment. It is based in Indianapolis.

It is anticipated that Good will assist with the transition until a new U. president is named.

“Dr. Good is highly qualified and well-prepared to take on the interim role at the University of Utah,” said Nina Barnes, board vice chairwoman.

Good, a professor of anesthesiology and inventor of the Human Patient Simulator, will return to his current roles as CEO at University of Utah Health, dean at the U. School of Medicine, and senior vice president of health sciences after the board completes its search for a new president.

Before coming to the U., Good served as dean at the University of Florida College of Medicine. He graduated from the University of Michigan with degrees in computer and communication sciences, as well as medicine, and completed anesthesiology training with the University of Florida in Gainesville.

“Dr. Good has worked to advance the university’s health system and has led both it and the more than 20,000 talented faculty, staff and students, who make up University of Utah Health, over the last two and a half years,” Barnes said. “The board is confident that he will see the University of Utah successfully through this transition.”