Presidents Eyring and Gilbert meet with members of PAC.

This council consists of friends of the university who are dedicated to help move the purposes of BYU-Idaho forward.

July 17, 2017
Writer: Spencer Williams

Each year, the president of Brigham Young University-Idaho holds a two-day conference during the first week of May called President's Advancement Council (PAC). This council consists of friends of the university who are dedicated to help move the purposes of BYU-Idaho forward.

The purpose of PAC is threefold. The first is to provide advice. After presenting what the university has done, university administration seeks the guidance and input of those on the council. Second, when members of PAC understand what is happening at the university, they want to tell the BYU-Idaho story to others. Third, the university seeks to advance its interests through philanthropic contributions.

"The university benefits from the different perspectives PAC members bring to the table, as they advise us about pertinent issues and challenges for the university," said University Public Affairs Director Brett Sampson. "They then go to their various homes across the country and become educated advocates for us. Some of them also choose to help us advance the established programs, like need-based scholarships and curriculum development, through financial contributions."

Sampson served as one of the PAC counsel session facilitators for the session on the university's Student Focused by Design campaign, and said he benefited from the council members' questions and feedback.

"One thing we heard pretty clearly from the PAC members in our session about the university messaging campaign is that they think we need to be even more emphatic about getting our message out there to inform potential students about how great this place is," Sampson said.

Because of the timing of the Pathway transition, and the tight-knit relationship between BYU-Idaho and BYU-Pathway Worldwide, this year's conference was co-hosted by both presidents Clark G. Gilbert and Henry J. Eyring. The topics covered at this conference were of deep interest and benefit to both presidents.

"The President's Advancement Council has culminated in just a wonderful experience where we've been blessed with an outpouring of the Spirit and, I think, great insights that will bless both BYU-Pathway Worldwide and BYU-Idaho," said President Eyring during his closing remarks.

"We love having you on PAC," President Gilbert told those in attendance. "We love having your advice and your counsel. We hope that this is a setting where you can bless us, and we also hope it's a setting where the experience can bless you."

Following are some of the topics discussed during PAC 2017:

Freshmen Retention and College Success - Amy LaBaugh and Mark Orchard: Ways in which BYU-Idaho is working to improve freshmen retention and the associated efforts through the new college success class and peer mentoring.

Mentoring - Allen Jones with Student Leaders: Student Support is building peer mentor programs to assist with freshmen retention and to help both everyday and at-risk students succeed during their time at the university.

University Campaign: Telling the BYU-Idaho Story - Merv Brown, Kirk Rawlins, and Brett Sampson: An insight to how the university is sharing the story of BYU-Idaho and how PAC members can participate in effective, authentic ways.

Team Fundraising - Chris Moore and Nick Greer: Different ways of donating and fundraising were discussed with LDS Philanthropies to both help improve tactics and better educate donors. Creating fundraising teams and holding meetings with friends of the university were offered as ways to enhance their gifts to the university.

BYU-Pathway Worldwide - President Gilbert, Jon Linford, and JD Griffith: As BYU-Pathway Worldwide transitions to its new headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah, the counsel from President Henry B. Eyring was to:
1. Not get ahead of the Brethren

2. Stage growth

3. Stay close to BYU-Idaho and have them stay close to BYU-PW 

President Gilbert also shared key strategic priorities for BYU-Pathway Worldwide. Data and metrics on retention, curriculum options, and mentoring were also discussed by the council.

University Outcomes and Dashboard - Rob Garrett: BYU-Idaho wants to use data to: 
1. Lead and manage

2. Reach the one

3. Meet outside reporting responsibilities such as accreditation.

BYU-Idaho uses the mission statement along with the core themes, objectives, educational emphasis, and the three imperatives to guide toward the desired outcome for students. The university must measure building testimonies.