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Brigham Young University Studies: Its Purpose, Its Freedom, Its Scope, an editorial

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Loyal Opposition: Ernest L. Wilkinson's Role in Founding the BYU Law School

Ernest L. Wilkinson is best known for being the president of Brigham Young University for twenty years (1951–1971). He should also be remembered for his role as catalyst for the existence of the J. Reuben Clark Law School at BYU. Wilkinson's diaries and personal papers tell the story of the J. Reuben Clark Law School founding prior to its March 9, 1971, public announcement. This article discusses... Read more

Shaping BYU: The Presidential Administration and Legacy of Benjamin Cluff Jr.

Benjamin Cluff Jr. has been called BYU's third president, but in reality he was the first president of Brigham Young University; his two predecessors presided over Brigham Young Academy, a secondary school that became a degree-conferring university under Cluff's leadership. Cluff raised BYU's academic standards by attending eastern schools and encouraging faculty to do the same. He was not... Read more

Two Challenges Facing Brigham Young University as a Religiously Affiliated University

On March 28, 2015, Brigham Young University president Kevin J Worthen addressed the annual meeting of the BYU Studies Academy about the challenges BYU faces as a religiously affiliated university in an increasingly secular world. After discussing what a religiously affiliated university is and how these institutions are becoming increasingly rare, President Worthen focused primarily on two... Read more

George H. Brimhall's Legacy of Service to Brigham Young University

Franklin S. Harris, president of Brigham Young University from 1921 to 1945, said of his predecessor, George H. Brimhall (fig. 1), "George H. Brimhall, under a tree would make a university any day for where he teaches students will always gather to be taught." Brimhall had two great causes, Harris said: his religion and the cause of education. From his youth to his old age, Brimhall carried these... Read more

BYU and Religious Universities in a Secular Academic World

How unique is BYU? This article examines the secularization of American higher education during the early twentieth century, then compares BYU to eight other major religiously affiliated research universities. The comparison reveals that BYU is very different from other universities in both its mission and in the way it views and offers a higher learning experience. Read more

The Founding Vision of BYU Studies

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Inquiry, Scholarship, and Learning and Teaching in Religiously Affiliated Colleges and Universities

Overall, the BYU Inquiry Conference sought to affirm by policy statement and living practice BYU's deep commitment to the shared values and approaches of the American academy and to our own unique mission. This collection of contributions to the conference seeks to capture this ongoing campuswide discussion. It invites readers to join the continuing open dialogue, so pertinent in this time,... Read more

The Founding Vision of BYU Studies, 1959-1967

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BYU Studies from 1967 to 1983

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BYU Studies in the 1970s

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Integration, Inquiry, and the Hopeful Search for Truth

Over the past five to ten years, a strange discontent has bubbled up out of the nation's leading universities. If I had to put my finger on the source of this discontent— and this is out of Harvard, Yale, Princeton— I'd say that leading administrators at many institutions are confronting the perplexing realization that universities seem unable to be universities. Universities seem unable to gain... Read more

Confessions of a Chameleon, 1983–1991

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Confessions of a Chameleon

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Plato's Trinity as Problem and Promise in University Life

Plato's ideals of goodness, truth, and beauty exist in a precarious balance. Not only are they out of humanity's reach, they cause problems when one overpowers the other two. Universities are in a unique position when it comes to fostering these ideals. If Brigham Young University is to become a great university, its faculty and students need to find the proper balance between its quest for... Read more

A Photographic Essay on the Old Lower BYU Campus

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BYU Student Life in the Twenties; Introduction by David J. Whittaker

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Off on the Right Foot

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Faith and Inquiry

My wife's uncle recently, and somewhat smugly, said something to the effect, "It's too bad you're studying philosophy (or perhaps any subject) at BYU since you only get one perspective." For the most part, I've found this is simply not true. I've found professors and students not nearly as homogeneous as often portrayed. Though I agree with my wife's uncle that we should engage in dialogue with... Read more

BYU Studies: Into the 1990s

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Certification and Signaling: The Importance of Markets and What Makes Them Work

J. Michael Pinegar examines financial and labor markets in terms of what makes them work efficiently. Information asymmetry between buyers and sellers can result in market failure. Two common ways to reduce information asymmetry are certification and signaling. Certification refers to a reputable third party, who affirms the quality of a product. Signaling refers to costs the seller incurs to... Read more

Poetry, the Other, and BYU

If there is any homogeneity at BYU, it is a homogeneity that we believe extends well beyond the bounds of the university's campus to include and encompass the whole world. We believe that we are all children of God, that we have the same Heavenly Father and therefore have an obligation to treat one another with love and respect, or with charity, which is the Christian theological version of... Read more

Acknowledging Differences While Avoiding Contention

At the institutional level, BYU's statement on fostering an enriched environment notes that "it is the University's judgment that providing educational opportunities for a mix of students who share values based on the gospel of Jesus Christ and come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences is an important educational asset to BYU." Diversity is also valued at the college and department level... Read more

Secular Learning in a Spiritual Environment

Twenty-five years ago, I arrived on the campus of Brigham Young University as a newly recruited economics professor. I had received a Ph.D. from one of the more respected graduate programs in the country, completed my military obligation, and was now embarking on an academic career. A few months later, I received a telephone call from a faculty member in another department. The person introduced... Read more

Individual and Institutional Academic Freedom

Both individual and institutional academic freedom are essential for colleges and universities. Individual academic freedom involves the freedom of an individual faculty member to teach, to research, and to speak as a citizen. Institutional academic freedom is the freedom of the institution to pursue its mission and to be free from outside control. Both dimensions of academic freedom are... Read more

The Brigham Young University Football Program and the Analytics Revolution

What do the sports analytics revolution's new ideas about evaluating teams, positions, and recruiting say about the BYU football program's past, present, and future? I find that after adjusting for schedule difficulty, the coaching performance of the legendary LaVell Edwards resulted in 3.8 more points in margin of victory than that of Bronco Mendenhall, and 10.8 more points than that of Gary... Read more

Questions I Ask Myself

If you will tolerate a few moments of personal privilege as I begin my comments today, I will confess to you that for virtually all of my life I have lived with the notions that faith and learning, questions about life and help from heaven are all part of a consistent whole. My mother and father were people of great faith and religious devotion but were also not afraid to ask or pose questions... Read more

The Institute of American Indian Studies at Brigham Young University

Prior to the arrival of Europeans in the Americas during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, it is estimated that approximately 500,000 Indians lived in present Canada, approximately 1,000,000 in what is now the United States, and several millions in that part of the Americas now designated Latin America (Mexico, Central, and South America). Today there are some 200,000 Indians in Canada, over... Read more

The Institute of Government Service

One of the great challenges facing mankind is to develop attitudes and techniques which permit people to live together happily and safely. As man invents more devices of communication, transportation and warfare and at the same time rapidly increases his numbers and concentrates them in larger and larger cities, the problems become more and more complex. The result is that the problems facing... Read more

Beehive and Portico

BYU, alas, did not continue to build in the Neoclassical Revival style. Few now study and teach in the Maeser Building on the far end of campus. But in a deeper sense, we all live in its extended shadow. The tradition of the beehive and portico continues in our practices. This is evident every week in the way the campus transforms classrooms into chapels and back again. This transformation never... Read more

"Thy Mind, O Man, Must Stretch"

John W. Welch, the recipient of the 2010-2011 Karl G. Maeser Distinguished Faculty Lecturer Award, gave this speech on May 17, 2011, at Brigham Young University. He spoke about the BYU Mission Statement as a guide for infusing an intellectual life with perspective and purpose: students should learn the gospel of Jesus Christ, learn broadly to be able to communicate, learn deeply in one's chosen... Read more

The Vision That You Have . . . Augurs Well for the Development of Still Better Things: The Role of Accreditation in Securing the Future of Brigham Young University, 1921–1928

In 1921, Franklin S. Harris was appointed president of Brigham Young University, During his first visit to campus, Harris articulated his vision for the future of the young institution. He said, "The President of the Church Commission of Education, and all who have anything to do with Church schools are determined to make this 'the great Church University.'" President Harris had a different... Read more

A Survey of Dating and Marriage at BYU

In 2001, Norval Glenn and Elizabeth Marquardt conducted a study in which they concluded that "dating" has all but dissapeared from American college campuses." Their collected data, from 1,000 young women who were attending 4-year colleges or universities, showed that one third of the women had only gone on one or two dates during their time at school. Dating had been replaced by "hooking up,"... Read more

Charting the Future of Brigham Young University: Franklin S. Harris and the Changing Landscape of the Church's Educational Network, 1921-1926

Education is deeply embedded in the theology and religion of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Formal educational systems began to develop soon after the establishment of the Church in 1830. The first of these formal systems was the School of the Prophets, established in Kirtland, Ohio, in December 1832 to prepare selected members for missionary work. Nearly a decade later an... Read more

Refusing to Die: Financial Crisis at Brigham Young Academy, 1877–1897

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Muslims among Mormons: Perspectives on Muslim Students Attending Brigham Young University

BYU's small Muslim population consists mostly of international students. In 2013, the authors interviewed thirty-seven Muslim students attending BYU. The study asked why they selected BYU; how they feel about BYU's honor code; their experience at a Mormon university; and whether being at BYU strengthened their commitment to Islam. Among the conclusions is that the environment created by the... Read more

Anticipating the Year 2000: Howard Nielson, BYU, and Statistics

In the 1950s, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints considered creating BYU satellite campuses around the western United States and asked BYU President Ernest Wilkinson to recommend locations. At the same time, Stanford researcher Howard Nielson created a careful projection of future demand for wood in America that drew much attention. Wilkinson hired Nielson to create a... Read more

Announcement of Evans Biography Award

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My Vocation as a Scholar: An Idea of the University

This lecture was given on March 21, 2013, as part of the Brigham Young University Faculty Center's "My Journey as a Scholar of Faith" series. John R. Rosenberg, dean of the College of Humanities at BYU, uses architectural features of the Joseph F. Smith Building (JFSB), home of his college, to illustrate certain aspects of scholarship and faith. The arches surrounding the courtyard represent a... Read more

The Idea of a Mormon University

This forum address given by Arthur Henry King in 1972 discusses the concept and history of a university. He then discusses the concept of Universitas Dei, the University of God, which he suggests should be a motto for any Mormon university. He cautions againts four images, or idols, which have been imported from the surrounding culture into BYU; the idol of the study; second, the idol of the... Read more