Meet BYU's new president
Brigham Young University's academic vice president C. Shane Reese will become the new president of the Provo school, operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
- Kevin Worthen, who was in the role since 2014, will step down in May, church leaders announced Tuesday.
Why it matters: BYU, called "the Lord's university" by many church members, sets cultural norms for much of the intermountain west, from attitudes about beards to caffeinated soda.
What we know: Reese has been connected to some newsworthy developments at BYU.
- He oversaw the elimination of gender-affirming voice therapy at the campus speech clinic last year, citing church instructions to "counsel against social transition," Religion News Service reported.
- He also led the committee in 2021 that found many students of color felt "isolated and unsafe" due to racism at BYU and recommended the creation of a diversity office.
Of note: Reese promoted a "gospel methodology" in a speech last year that emphasized BYU faculty would be evaluated on how they were "fortifying the institutions of family, religion and constitutional government."
- A few months earlier, church leaders announced that employees' loyalty to the church would be reviewed in greater detail, specifically asking whether staff support "teachings on marriage, family, and gender."
- In the months since, faculty at BYU and other schools have raised concerns that the church agenda could compromise the university's academic freedom and rigor. Some employees at other church-affiliated schools have been fired without explanation.
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