Just after closing his talk at a campus devotional at BYU-Idaho on Jan. 27, Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles announced a change to the university’s leadership.
“We are pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Clark G. Gilbert as the 16th president of Brigham Young University-Idaho,” Elder Nelson said. “Welcome back to Brigham Young University-Idaho.”
Brother Gilbert, who works as CEO of the Deseret News and Deseret Digital Media and is an executive vice president of Deseret Management Corporation, worked at BYU-Idaho as an associate academic vice president. With that assignment he had the responsibility of shepherding online learning and distance education.
The change comes at a time when current leader, President Kim B. Clark, has been serving for nearly a decade. President Clark left his position as dean of the Harvard Business School to become the 15th president of Brigham Young University-Idaho in August of 2005.
“President Kim B. Clark has served with great distinction as president of BYU-Idaho,” Elder Nelson said. “During these years of tremendous growth, President Clark has been devoted in his quest to further the mission of BYU-Idaho, persist to build testimonies of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, provide a quality education for students and maintain a wholesome academic, cultural, social and spiritual environment.”
Adding that President Clark earned the “total trust and support” of the Board of Trustees through his years of inspired leadership, Elder Nelson praised the 15th president’s devotion to the university and the people it serves.
“He has earned the trust, support, respect and love of the faculty, staff, administrators and students of this great university,” he said. “Truly, in him, we have seen an eloquent example of an effective leader and servant.”
Elder Nelson had President and Sister Sue Clark join him on the stand, where students and faculty applauded in appreciation. Recognizing Sister Clark’s continued service and support of her husband, Elder Nelson said, “We recognize her with honor and love on this important day. We thank them both for their dedicated and consecrated efforts that have greatly enriched this university.”
Returning to Rexburg with new responsibilities, Brother Gilbert will take on the title of “President Gilbert” as he begins his tenure on April 13.
“I recognize the stewardship and the sacred responsibility associated with this assignment,” Brother Gilbert said. “I also know that it is the Lord who is in charge of this university, and I am grateful for that knowledge as I assume this role.”
Elder Nelson, on behalf of the Board of Trustees, spoke of Brother Gilbert’s responsibility to “continue to move forward every facet of this significant work that is presently being accomplished here.”
“This has truly been a season of innovation and inspiration in Rexburg and it has blessed the entire Church,” Brother Gilbert said after the announcement. “To the campus community — both the faculty and the staff who do so much to make this university what it is — I have learned and been taught by many of you.”
Addressing the students, Brother Gilbert said, “Know that we already have a deep love for you. BYU-Idaho is uniquely student centered. The Lord has already begun to give us glimpses of your great potential and divine destiny.”
Brother Gilbert earned a doctorate in business administration from Harvard, a master’s degree from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University. Prior to his time at BYU-Idaho, he was on the faculty of the Harvard Business School.
He and his wife, Sister Christine Gilbert, are the parents of eight children, seven of whom were introduced to the congregation.
[email protected] @marianne_holman