USU Eastern Chancellor Peterson Discusses Difficult Cosmotology Decision

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Early Monday morning, USU Eastern issued a press release stating that they had reversed the decision to eliminate the cosmetology program thus remaining part of the campus curriculum. The ground swell of community outcry about the closure was heard by the administration prompting the decision.

USU Chancellor Joe Peterson sat down with etv10news.com Tuesday morning to explain how the decision was ultimately made. Petersen was already looking for ways to move the college forward and not look back. He noted that the college has room to deal with the changes and issues because of the merge with USU Logan.

“I don’t want the university forever to be offering us life support,” he said, speaking of USU-Logan. “But what a great association we have with them and are happy to have all their support.”

Peterson met with Mayor Joe Piccolo on Thursday and then had a meeting with the campus regional advisory board. In result of those meetings, the cosmotology program remained a part of the cirriculum.

The advisory board is made up of area citizens appointed by the president of the college. Board members who took part in the meeting included Frank Peczuh, Renee Banasky, Erroll Holt, and Al Barnett. Blanding resident Lynn Stevens participated by phone.

“It was a spirited discussion,” stated Peterson. “But you asked what was the tipping point and the input and discussion in the meeting were it.”

He did say that with approximately 50 young women who have parents, uncle, aunts, grandparents, neighbors and friends with vested interests working hard to save the program, the message was loud and clear.

The controversy and uproar came to a head at the end of last week when rumors began to circulate. Those invloved in the decison making were not willing to talk on record. Some of the information floating around the community included that legislators might be looking to hold funding on some key projects including Geary Theatre renovations.

Asked pointedly about rumors that pressure or threats were made, Peterson said “no direct threats were made.”

Peterson still stands by the workforce service statistics he used to help make the original decision to close the cosmetology program and expand welding, criminal justice and psychology. But he also said that the decision to keep the program is permanent.

Mayor Piccolo was very pleased with the decision, but also feels like there needs to be a solid plan in place to keep the program moving forward. There will be a meeting Tuesday night at 5 p.m. in the SAC building on Eastern’s campus to further discuss the topic.

Check back with etv10news.com for more informtion from the meeting.

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