Henry J. Eyring was announced as the new president of BYU-Idaho on February 7 during a university devotional given by Elder Dallin H. Oaks. He replaces Clark G. Gilbert, who will lead the newly created BYU-Pathway Worldwide, which will administer online programs for CES.
Eyring has worked at BYU-Idaho for the past 11 years as an associate academic vice president over Online Learning, advancement vice president, and academic vice president. At a news conference on February 9, Eyring shared his feelings about working in this new capacity.
"It is a blessing to stand on the shoulders of giants," Eyring said. "There will be new things to come, I am sure; but so much has been established that the innovations will always be occurring as an extension of what has been done. I will be grateful to be a great extender."
For Eyring, BYU-Idaho has always been a special place. His father, President Henry B. Eyring, who serves as First Counselor in the First Presidency for the Church, served as president of BYU-Idaho from 1971-1977. During the news conference, Eyring recalled some of his memories as a child in Rexburg. "In many respects this place is unchanged in its spirit, its mission, and its commitment to serving students," Eyring said.
Eyring also expressed gratitude for the situation BYU-Idaho is in now compared to the one his father inherited.
"We are in a position where our challenge is not one of shrinkage but of growth," Eyring said. "We have been growing rapidly and are at a point demographically in the Church where we will continue to grow. Our great challenge will not be cutting budgets and finding ways to fill classrooms, but whether or not the classroom is big enough."
Eyring noted that while some change is unavoidable, there are many traditions and practices that will remain the same.
"I have fond memories of being here and associating with students during family home evenings, which is a tradition we will continue," Eyring said.
Previous to his work at BYU-Idaho, Eyring worked as a strategy consultant at Monitor Company in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and as MBA Director at BYU in Provo. Eyring has served in various callings in the Church, including as a full-time missionary in the Japan Nagoya Mission, bishop, president of the Tokyo Japan North Mission, and president of the Rexburg Idaho YSA 6th Stake.
Eyring earned a bachelor's degree in Geology, a Master of Business Administration, and a Juris Doctorate from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Eyring brings a unique perspective to the executive office with experience as son of a former president, multiple administrative roles, and the father of three BYU-Idaho graduates.
"It will be a matter of a steady, upward course," Eyring said. "As important as it will be to keep unchanged the things that have been so well established, it will be equally important to meet the change that inevitably is coming at the institution and its students."