Two New VPs Join Benson Administration

Published: July 13, 2023 |
Read Time: 3 minutes

Southern Utah University President Mindy Benson announced today the appointment of two vice presidents to serve as part of the University’s executive team. Dr. Mary Pearson will serve as the new CFO/Vice President of Finance and Tiger Funk as the University’s first Vice President of Operations. Both Pearson and Funk are longtime employees and alumni of SUU and bring a wealth of experience and institutional knowledge to their positions. They will begin their new roles on August 1.

“I am thrilled to welcome Mary and Tiger to the President’s Cabinet. Their expertise, leadership, and dedication to our institution will help SUU continue to thrive,” said President Benson. “These two positions will serve the unique needs of our campus community and help us better fulfill our mission to transform lives through education. I also want to thank Mitch Bealer for serving as Interim Vice President of Finance and Administration for the last several months.”

Dr. Pearson has been serving as the Dean of the Dixie L. Leavitt School of Business since 2017. As Dean, she led the school through a significant increase in student enrollment, expanded program offerings including the MBA program, data analytics, entrepreneurship, and professional sales, and deepened alumni and industry connections. Prior to becoming dean, Pearson was a professor of accounting at SUU for 17 years. She is also a certified public accountant (CPA) and has her own financial firm with clients across the United States.

“I am excited to begin this new role at SUU,” Pearson said. “I have loved serving as the Dean of the Dixie L. Leavitt School of Business and have had the great privilege to work with amazing faculty, staff, students, and alumni. I look forward to working with a new group of dedicated employees in building a strong future for this wonderful institution.”

As CFO/Vice President of Finance, Pearson will oversee Accounting Services, Planning and Budget, Purchasing, Internal Audit, Auxiliaries, as well as Human Resources and Information Technology.

Tiger Funk has worked at SUU for 17 years and is currently the Assistant Vice President for Facilities Management overseeing all of the university’s facilities operations, leading master planning efforts, and managing capital development projects. His leadership has been instrumental in the completion of many new campus buildings notably the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts, Leavitt Business Building, and most recently, Bristlecone Hall. In this new expanded role, Funk will continue to manage facilities in addition to fleet operations and parking services, enterprise risk management and campus safety including the SUU Police Department. Safety remains a top priority for the administration and Funk and his team will lead out on developing and implementing a comprehensive approach to campus safety and emergency planning for the institution.

“The opportunity to serve closely with the administrative leadership of SUU will allow me to work with more people to discover new ways of continuing the forward momentum we have on our campus,” Funk said. “I am excited about the journey.”

Southern Utah University, also known as the University of the Parks, is a safe, residential campus located in beautiful Cedar City, Utah. With more than 150+ undergraduate programs, 32 graduate and certificate programs, and a new professional doctorate degree, students are offered world-class opportunities to gain professional experience giving them a competitive edge before entering the job market.


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