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Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Clark G. Gilbert, the CEO of Deseret News Publishing Company and Deseret Digital Media, will become BYU-Idaho’s 16th president on April 13, replacing Kim B. Clark, whose tenure began in August 2005.

REXBURG, Idaho — Clark G. Gilbert, current president and CEO of the Deseret News and Deseret Digital Media, and an executive vice president of Deseret Management Corporation, was named as the 16th president of Brigham Young University-Idaho at Tuesday's campus devotional.

The announcement was made by Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and chair of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees. Gilbert will formally assume his duties April 13, taking over for Kim B. Clark, whose tenure began in August 2005.

"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."

There was light laughter in the audience when Elder Nelson invited Gilbert, his wife, Christine, and their family of eight children to the stand for a proper introduction because Elder Nelson initially couldn't see the Gilbert family. Then, as the Gilberts walked toward the podium, the students applauded. Elder Nelson introduced each of the children by name, prompting more good-natured laughter from the students.

When invited to share a few remarks, Gilbert, 44, acknowledged the trust of church leadership and expressed his love for President Clark, the campus community, faculty and staff.

"To the students, know that we already have a deep love for you," Gilbert said with emotion in his voice. "BYU-Idaho is uniquely student-centered. The Lord has already begun to give us glimpses of your great potential and divine destiny. ... To each of you, Christine and I and our family commit ourselves to furthering the mission of this great university. ... I may not be able to show you, and I may not be able to prove it, but you will feel it. Today I feel it, and I'm grateful to be in the Lord's service at this temple and college on the hill."

Prior to being named CEO of Deseret Digital Media in 2009 and Deseret News Publishing Company in 2010, Gilbert served as an associate academic vice president at BYU-Idaho, where he oversaw the university’s online learning and distance education initiatives.

Gilbert is a BYU graduate. He earned a master’s degree from Stanford University and a doctoral degree from the Harvard Business School, where he was later a professor of entrepreneurial management.

Gilbert has also been serving as the bishop of his LDS ward in Bountiful.

Prior to naming Gilbert as president, Elder Nelson asked President Clark and his wife, Sue, to stand next to him at the podium, where they were greeted with an applause of gratitude for their years of service at the university.

Elder Nelson complimented President Clark and his wife for serving with "great distinction during years of tremendous growth" and "providing inspired leadership" while helping to build testimonies and provide a quality education for students.

"Truly in him, we have seen an eloquent example of an effective leader and humble servant," Elder Nelson said.

“During his time at BYU-Idaho, President Clark led significant development of the university through innovations in the academic calendar, online education, the introduction of the BYU-Idaho Learning Model, and the extension of the university around the world through the online Pathway program,” Elder Paul V. Johnson, commissioner of the Church Educational System, said in a BYU-Idaho press release.

After earning a bachelor’s, a master’s and a doctoral degree from Harvard University, Clark became a member of the Harvard Business School faculty and served as its dean from 1995 until he became president of BYU-Idaho 10 years later.

President Clark said he has known Gilbert for a long time.

"I love them," he said. "I know the Lord loves them. I know they love the Lord. I also know they love you, and you can feel that."

Under Gilbert's leadership, the Deseret News became known nationally for its focus on faith, families and values.

In addition to leading the Deseret News and Deseret Digital Media, Gilbert has served as a board member of the Newspaper Association of America. His innovations at the Deseret media companies have garnered invitations to speak at conferences and American Press Institute-sponsored events across the national landscape.

Keith McMullin, president and CEO of the Deseret Management Corporation, said Gilbert will be missed.

"We appreciate the service Clark Gilbert gives the Deseret media companies," McMullin said. "We are thrilled for Clark and his family, and for the BYU-Idaho students, faculty and administration."

Email: ttoone@deseretnews.com Twitter: tbtoone