John K. Morris, University of Utah vice president and general counsel died Feb. 16, more than two years after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
On Friday, March 4, at 5 p.m. the University of Utah will honor and celebrate Morris’ life at a service in the Moot Courtroom, sixth floor of the S.J. Quinney College of Law.
Morris was a professor of law at the university beginning in 1979 and founded the general counsel’s office in 1990. He was a trusted advisor to many university leaders, including five university presidents. He was passionate about higher education and the law. He provided thoughtful advice on a broad range of subjects during a time of explosive growth at the university.
“I worked closely with John for more than two decades,” said David W. Pershing, president of the University of Utah. “He was widely regarded as one of the best university attorneys in the nation, and his passing is a huge loss for all of us.”
Morris advised on academic freedom issues and defended free speech. He was a strong advocate for research and served on the Board of the University of Utah Research Foundation. After his cancer diagnosis, Morris established the Morris Family Fund for Support of Pancreas Cancer Research at the Huntsman Cancer Institute.
“John was a close colleague and friend and his death saddens me greatly,” said Thomas N. Parks, vice president for research at the U. “His exceptionally good judgment made him a highly influential leader at the university.”
Read more about his legacy in here.
Elizabeth D. Winter, currently deputy general counsel and chief counsel for the University of Utah Health Sciences, will serve as interim general counsel until a successor is named. A search will be initiated shortly.