Leaving Utah for Washington, Michael Young says Mormonism taught him to embrace diversity

Former U. leader is among 3 LDS heads of public colleges

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  • jfielding DENVER, CO
    June 15, 2011 3:02 p.m.

    My mother died in early 1987. Mike was a professor at the law school and I was a worm student there. Mike sent me a very personal, touching letter of condolence.

    I hardly knew him, and as an aspiring professor, of course he had his priorities.

    He is a fine person.

  • LeDoc SLC, UT
    June 15, 2011 5:12 a.m.

    Coolest thing (IMO) about Young was he had the chutzpah to stand at BYU and state that all members of the church should belong to the ACLU.

    Go Mike ! Best of luck in WA says I

  • tmaxr Santa Rosa, Ca
    June 15, 2011 1:06 a.m.

    "When you're the president of a large public institution, it is not your job to determine the values and lifestyles of everyone there."

    Sadly, many leaders use their office to do just that.

    Reagan replaced competent appointees with disasters like James Watt, then made many permanent civil servants, so they were impossible to fire. He turned the federal government into a "Fundamentalists Only" club and funded death squads raping nuns and murdering priests in South America, and committed treason with his "October Surprise," according to staffer Barbara Honegger.

    George Bush continued the trend, appointing inexperienced do-nothings like "Heckuva Job Brownie," and firing US Attorneys because they were not "loyal Bushies" who would bring bogus charges against Democrats. Bush made assassination, torture and violent cavity search of prisoners official U.S. policy, to bring us Saudi Sharia law, which uses rape, torture and assassination as punishments, not crimes.

    I don't know what Young did for Bush, but a post in the Bush Administration not anything I'd want to see on a prospective employee's résumé. I wouldn't consider a Bush appointee for any position other than defendant in war crimes trials.

  • Kimball Bakersfield, CA
    June 14, 2011 4:22 p.m.

    I am amazed at the bitterness and vitriolic nature of some of the comments. I feel pity for those of you who have been hurt or wronged and want to vent it in response to this interesting and thought provoking artice. Good luck to the Prof in his endeavors. Negativity and ignorance are parts of life that we work past and live with. Civil discussion of legitimate differences of opinion is a healthy part of life while insults and venting anger are not so interesting or enlightening. Tell us what you believe and what productive recommendations you have to offer. I hope you start feeling better and can contribute to the dialogue something of value.

  • coltakashi Richland, WA
    June 14, 2011 2:48 p.m.

    The people in Washington who attacked Mike Young for being Mormon don't seem to know that there are tens of thousands of Mormons already here in Washington. That is why there are three temples, in Bellevue, Spokane, and Richland. There are dozens of chapters ("camps") of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. There are lots of Utah and BYU alumni working here, and plenty of students at UW who have family in Utah.
    Young is going to find there are enty of people here who will be rooting for him to succeed, as they have, in making a new home in Washington.

  • coltakashi Richland, WA
    June 14, 2011 2:38 p.m.

    No discussion about Mike Young and diversity is complete without pointing out that he worked for four years of his life in Japan, two as a missionary and two on a fellowship studying Japanese law at the University of Tokyo. Not only did he learn to immerse himself in a very different culture and language, becoming an academic expert in his field, he also experienced being among a small minority among a large population of people who don't look like him. He has seen minority status from the opposite, unlike most white Americans.
    The positive side of valuing "diversity" is recognizing the value of every human being regardless of ancestry or native tongue or religious faith. As chairman of the religious freedom commission, Young was just as active in advocating for the freedom of Buddhists as he was for Mormons, and call for freedom for both Jews and Muslims.

  • Barack Obama Phoenix, AZ
    June 14, 2011 2:01 p.m.

    "Diversity" is nothing but a code word for practicing politically correct discrimination.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    June 14, 2011 12:52 p.m.

    I am a research engineer and have worked on many diverse teams.
    It is said that "Diversity is our Strength".

    This was true on each of the engineering teams I have worked on. We had experts in automation, mechanical/equipment design, structural engineering, software engineering, quality assurance, etc. We had top experts either on the team or available to consult with on virtually anything we required.

    A diverse knowledge/skill base was our strength.

    We also have people with different belief systems both religious and political; people with different sexual orientations, races, nationalities and backgrounds. These are areas of potential problems and are never a strength. Teams are best advised to ignore these areas and keep things professional and focused on the job.

    Funny thing is that most people define diversity to include only the possible areas of contention.

    As such diversity as preached by the modern popular culture is a lie!

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    June 14, 2011 11:49 a.m.

    It's amazing how much the dn restricts comments. Especially if it is critical of someone that they're promoting.

  • UgottaloveMaxie SLC, UT
    June 14, 2011 10:49 a.m.

    Young doesn't have to answer too many questions about the LDS faith since he may not be a member anymore. He's put a black eye on his family and needs to go.

  • timpClimber Provo, UT
    June 14, 2011 8:27 a.m.

    Being an active Mormon has cost me several university offers, one even in Utah. On the other side of the coin it gave me an advantage in a college where the faculty was 40% Jewish, they just introduced me to their families as a cousin form the tribe of Joseph. Usually when being interviewed there would be comments like "I have this Mormon friend or neighbor or how will you get along at the faculty cocktail hour?" I would just joke you know you will always have a designated driver. In a strong Catholic community the priests went out of their way to make us feel welcome. For the most part my non-LDS colleagues were always looking out for me and their graciousness will always be remembered.

  • Quayle Dallas, TX
    June 14, 2011 7:42 a.m.

    I'm not sure that righteousness means taking the commandments which, to us, are intended to govern our personal behavior only, and rigorously applying them to others and their behavior.

    Or put another way, if I'm going to be judged exactly in the same way that I have judged others, as the scriptures teach I will, then I want to say here and now that I think you all are great and I have no problem with any of you or anything you are doing.

  • 79Ute Orange County, CA
    June 14, 2011 12:24 a.m.

    "Another commenter on The Seattle Times' website even wrote, 'All Mormons support bigotry. Michael Young is a Mormon. So, Michael Young supports bigotry.'" What a hypocritical, bigoted comment! The commentator needs to come in out of the rain.

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    June 13, 2011 10:52 p.m.

    This is a well written article with many thoughtful observations from the leaders discussed.