Brigham Young University's new advancement vice president won't have far to travel when he moves his belongings.
Fred K. Skousen, 55, has been dean of BYU's Marriott School of Management for nine years. On June 1, he will trek just a few yards east from his post at the Tanner Building to the Smoot Building, where he will replace current Advancement Vice President R.J. Snow."I won't be as close to students, which is the sad part, but being able to work with athletics - in which I've had a lifelong interest - and with the alumni will be an exciting new thing," Skousen said Wednesday, just moments after being presented by BYU President Merrill J. Bateman.
When Bateman announced several weeks ago that Snow would leave Provo in June to become director of BYU's Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies, faculty members, staff and students began to wonder who would replace Snow. Of BYU's four vice presidents, Snow had perhaps the highest profile because his responsibilities included overseeing the school's intercollegiate athletic programs.
Apparently, Skousen was a surprise choice for just about everyone - including himself. Skousen first found out Snow was leaving when Bateman asked the deans to submit names to replace him.
"I sent in a couple of names of people who I thought would do a great job and then I forgot about it," Skousen said.
However, he was reminded last week, when Bateman asked him to replace Snow. Skousen previously had been approved by the school's Board of Trustees for the position. He accepted the job Tuesday.
"The areas that R.J. has and that Fred will now pick up are extremely important to us," Bateman said.
In addition to athletics, Skousen will oversee university and alumni relations and development. That means he'll be doing a lot of fund raising and coordinating BYU's external activities.
"There are a lot of opportunities and, I think, one or two challenges in this new assignment," Skousen said. "The areas over which I will have responsibility have a tremendous capacity for good."
Skousen said he has no objectives in mind for the programs he will supervise, but he does plan to foster discussion with former BYU students and athletes to gain their input about which direction the programs should go.
Skousen will sit on a search committee to find a new dean for the Marriott School of Management, Bateman said. Administrators hope to have a replacement by May 31.