Purpose of School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration
The School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration--an independent agency of state government--is established to manage lands that Congress granted to the state of Utah for the support of common schools and other beneficiary institutions, under the Utah Enabling Act.
The state of Utah expressly accepted this grant in the Utah Constitution, thereby creating a compact between the federal and state governments which imposes upon the state a perpetual trust obligation to which standard trust principles are applied.
Title to these trust lands is vested in the state as trustee to be administered for the financial support of the trust beneficiaries.
The trust principles impose fiduciary duties upon the state, including a duty of undivided loyalty to, and a strict requirement to administer the trust corpus for the exclusive benefit of, the trust beneficiaries.
As trustee, the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration must manage the lands and revenues generated from the lands in the most prudent and profitable manner possible, and not for any purpose inconsistent with the best interest of the trust beneficiaries.
The trustee must be concerned with both income for the current beneficiaries and the preservation of the trust corpus for future beneficiaries, which requires a balancing of short and long-term interests so that long-term benefits are not lost in an effort to maximize short-term gains.
The beneficiaries do not include other governmental institutions or agencies, the public at large, or the general welfare of the state.
Paraphrased From: TITLE 53C-- SCHOOL AND INSTITUTIONAL TRUST LANDS MANAGEMENT ACT