Officials announced this week that Coward is retiring July 1. Noelle Cockett will replace him.
USU President Stan Albrecht says Coward's accomplishments in the past seven years include helping form new academic departments, such as the school of veterinary medicine, the department of applied economics and the college of humanities and social sciences.
He's credited for working with deans to train new faculty, and for recruiting and hiring 328 tenured or tenure-track faculty.
Albrecht says Coward has also helped preserve the school's academic programs amid an economic downturn and legislative budget cuts.