Comments about ‘On the frontier: How BYU-Idaho is pushing the boundaries of higher education’

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Published: Sunday, Oct. 16 2011 3:00 p.m. MDT

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Denver, Colorado

I will never call Ricks College BYU - Idaho..........plain and simple!!

Apo, AP

This article excellently illustrates a point I have made in response to many of BYU's detractors in regards to research. Jabs have been made at BYU's lack of research as a reason for not being invited to a BCS league (particularly the PAC12). (First of all, I don't believe that academics is playing a significant role in the shaping of athletic conferences.)

The point this article illustrates well is that BYU-Idaho (and BYU) have a mission to produce top-quality undergraduate education, and they are both succeeding in that goal. Their goal has not been to be a research institution nor to put their money, emphasis, and time into graduate programs.

A recent study showed that BYU was one of the top 5 schools at producing PhDs. They are also one of the the top schools in the country at sending students into Dental programs and getting students into medical school.

In medicine, the subspecialists get more acclaim and recognition than the primary care physicians, but the world only needs so many Pediatric Cardiologists, when there is a huge need for Pediatricians.

BYU/BYU-Idaho know what their goals are and they do them well. Good for them.

Charlotte, NC

i think it is great what they are doing at Ricks. That was a huge, largely untapped resource. And there are many great faculty who love to teach who are willing to be a part of it even if they earn less than they could get elsewhere. My only beef is that they should have kept the Ricks name. I have always been sad that it isn't called Ricks University.

Bob Folkman
Brigham City, UT

I look forward to the next articles. This description of the beginnings of the change for BYUI is in tune with the spirit of many foundational LDS Church teachings, and another example of the inspired leadership of Pres. Hinckley, as well as the other men who have been prepared to accept calls to service.


The article is curious. It isn't really news. More of a paean to the Y of I than real news or even a human interest story. Shouldn't this be in the Church News, rather than the Deseret News? Where are the controversies? Where are the ambiguities? Nothing, other than passing reference to some who lamented the elimination of the sports program. What about the irreparable damage to the student-oriented atmosphere the school was known for? No mention that the Church could have built another university and left Ricks to do what it did so well. No analysis of the non-sequitur in the statement by Gordon B. Hinckley that the Church needs to educate all or none or some. Based on the logic of this article, is the Church now committing to build a new university with each additional, say, 4 million members?

The fact is that central to the Church's role is being a light to the world. Why segregate Mormon students in Rexburg when, in fact, they can be so much more of a light to the world by being in universities "out there" in the world?

Medical Lake, Washington

I've heard it said, and I wish I knew the source of the quote . . . .

"If engineering is taught correctly, students should be able to cross the Red Sea - with or without a bridge, which ever they choose."

Society has been so determined to remove faith and religion from every aspect of life and the same results that have been noted throughout history keeping coming back to haunt us.

Orem, Utah

Wow! Now I know WHY Ricks dropped football and got renamed BYU-Idaho.

BYUtv also explains why BYU itself won't drop college athletics, for those with open minds.

Can't wait for the next two submissions of this article.

Glad to see the Church being innovative above and beyond the rest of acadamia.


Ricks College, now BYU-Idaho, has proven to be a school of higher education that does in fact build a solid foundation for those who attend and study with real intent. Teach young minds, then send them into the world to lead. An atmosphere of greatness embraces all that is done on campus. The Holy Ghost dwells there performing some of the most amazing and miraculous spiritual awakenings found anywhere upon this earth. Please keep going.

Dammam, Saudi Arabia

A university that is being prestigious by giving low-cost four year degrees. What a revolutionary, liberal concept.


I graduated from BYU-Idaho and went on to the U of U for graduate school. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I got much more academically for my money and time in Rexburg. Moreover, several of my old classmates who went to universities across the country (including BYU-Provo) tell me the same thing. There is something to be said for having teachers who want to teach.

Oregon Ute
Hermiston, OR

As a U of U alum and lifelong U sports fan I love BYU academia. I have a daughter who graduated from BYU-I and couldn't have received a better education. When I say education, I mean education for life. She learned great things at BYU-I that allowed her to be employed but she also had the values that her family taught her reinforced. I appreciate the values education she received that can help her be a great person as well as an educated person.

Pleasant Grove, UT


Over-thinking a simple paradigm shift can conjure various litanies. This article shed light on a unique educational design, that offers an alternative to the failing structure of the American Education model. It's featured placement in the Deseret News seems as fitting as it's sequence for patrons of the prestigious Aspen Institute.

The article inspired personal reflection. When a piece prompts self improvement, and introspection, the benefit reaches both the individual and society. I find this fitting newsprint, be it secular, or religious.

Larry M
Chicago, IL

I'm glad BYUI offers a low cost education to so many students, but let's not get carried away with praise.

The online degrees are offered only to those with previous on-campus study which excludes most of us. The "Pathway" program is very limited; a member in Ghana or Manhattan can enter but most LDS can't.

There is a need for another LDS college, so I pray The Church will take over some struggling college out in middle America and transform it.

Salt Lake City, UT

Re: limejello: This is news, and real news because a university focused on these goals: "raise the quality of every aspect of the experience students have on campus, make a BYU-Idaho education available to more young people and lower the relative cost of education" is so very different than the norm in higher education. Where the goal is to focus on status, raise costs, and continue to provide low quality teaching that in most cases is just a barrier to learning. This vision of a prophet to change an archaic corrupt higher education system is just as monumental as another prophet's calling to change the archaic corrupt religious systems of the world in the 1820's.

Steve Jensen
Herriman, UT

I got my Construction Management degree at BYU-I and it was great. Their Construction Management program is one of the top in the country. With smaller class sizes and hands on classes, it was a great place to go. It was too bad they dropped athletics there due to cost. There was originally talk about them being in the Big Sky conference with Weber St. with some BYU (Provo) recruits playing their freshman and sophomore years there to gain experience before playing at Provo. It would have been fun....

John Marx
Layton, UT

Overall I enjoyed the environment and the academic experience of BYU-Idaho, but I submit that they integrate the church into the experience too much. They are asked to say a prayer before the beginning of each class. The entire campus shuts down for the devotional on tuesday. You have to be at home by 12:00. You can't be alone with the opposite sex in a apartment. You can't grow facial hair. You have to keep the blinds open if someone of the opposite sex is in your apartment. 18+ year olds should be learning to live on their own, not being coddled and controlled.
On several occasions my ecclesiastical endorsement was threatened for minor offenses, such as missing Elder quorum. Which would have costed me a year. Having my academic progress held hostage was overall a faith-demoting experience.
To each his own, but personally I wouldn't recommend it.

Cardston, Alberta

Thank-you Watcher and Hellooo. My daughter and her husband will walk in December. My son will walk next spring. My visits to campus have been incredibly nostalgic given my only semester at Ricks(fall 1965/pre-mission.) Wow what marvelous growth and what a powerful spiritual atmosphere. AND a beautiful temple puts the ultimate crowning touch to an amazing experience for all who attend.

Somewhere in Time, UT

The Church does things by the Lord's methods, not the world's. I think this article is great and I learned a lot of things I didn't know. Whatever need the Children of God have, the The Lord and the Church have a program to address it. This is a wonderful example of how the Church is providing educational opportunities to our Father in Heaven's children throughout the world.

Salt Lake City, UT

Kim Clark became well known at Harvard Business School for re-thinking the real mission of the school and for re-directing the focus of the school to accomplish that mission. He has continued to utilize his unique analytical talents of "thinking outside the box" to bring much needed changes to this institution as well as providing insight to other educational institutions as they attempt to move beyond the archaic methods heretofore employed.

Dietrich, ID

John Marx who forced you to go to college at BYUI? I heard David Bednar say if you don't keep the honor code than go somewere else it is not fair to those that do. And actually many of the commandments actually give people freedom as well.

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