The promotion this week of Addie Fuhriman to a high-ranking BYU administrative position marks the first time a woman will serve in this kind of post since the mid-1980s.
And the appointment is drawing rave reviews from leaders around campus."I stood up and cheered. It's fantastic," said faculty athletic representative Barbara Lockhart when asked her reaction to the news. "Members of the Faculty Women's Association have been requesting to have a woman on the council. We're excited to have this come about."
President Merrill J. Bateman said Fuhriman emerged as the best candidate because of her abilities and experience.
"We're excited because she's the best person for the job," Bateman told the Deseret News. "We think it's important to have women on the President's Council, but the key criterion in her selection was who was the best person to take the university to the next level."
Bateman lauded Fuhriman for her work as dean of Graduate Studies, and said he expects she will continue her innovative and effective style of leadership as assistant to the president for planning and assessment. The appoint-ment is effective immediately.
The President's Council is BYU's top decision-making body, other than the Board of Trustees. It consists of 10 high-level administrators, including Bateman, several vice presidents and assistants.
"I have valued my experience as dean of Graduate Studies and the opportunity to work with the colleges, departments and faculty throughout the university," Fuhriman said. "I look forward to working with President Bateman as the institution looks to the future for the focus and direction it would like to take."
Earlier this year, BYU's Faculty Advisory Council's committee on Recruitment, Hiring and Social Environment recommended that a woman join the President's Council. But Lockhart said regardless of gender, Fuhriman fits the bill of what the university needs at this time.
"She's spent many years in higher education," Lockhart said. "She brings a lot of wisdom. She has the perspective of someone you'd see at a Harvard or Yale. I don't see this as a so-called `token' appointment at all. She has experience in many areas, not just one discipline. She has a feel for the role of higher education, and we're hoping she'll stay in this position for a long time."
Fuhriman replaces Ned Hill, who was recently named dean of BYU's Marriott School of Management.
She came to BYU in 1992 from the University of Utah, where she had served as chair of the Department of Educational Psychology and as a member of the executive committee of the Faculty Senate.
Fuhriman earned a doctorate degree from the University of Minnesota, a master's degree from BYU and a bachelor's degree from Utah State University.
A licensed psychologist, Fuhriman has served as president of the Utah Psychological Association, chair of the Association of the Mormon Counselors and Psychotherapists and has served as a member of the general boards of the LDS Church's Relief Society and other organizations.