BYU's new president hailed as brilliant, kind, compassionate

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  • Bruce Young Provo, UT
    May 9, 2014 3:41 p.m.

    I teach at BYU but know Pres. Worthen mainly from regional Church meetings. I've always been struck by his gentleness, goodness, and intelligence. By the way, I'm not the Bruce who commented earlier, and though a Democrat (more or less) myself, I find a bit bizarre both the comments imagining Pres. Worthen's political affiliation and those slamming Democrats. I've known General Authorities of the Democratic inclination, and they certainly don't fit the negative stereotype. I know both liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans and independents, who are profoundly wise and compassionate. As Dallin H. Oaks once said, "Those who govern their thoughts and actions solely by the principles of liberalism or conservatism or intellectualism cannot be expected to agree with all of the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. As for me, I find some wisdom in liberalism, some wisdom in conservatism, and much truth in intellectualism--but I find no salvation in any of them" ("Criticism," Ensign, Feb 1987, 68ff.).

  • BballWatcher Park City, UT
    May 9, 2014 12:47 p.m.

    I had the distinct pleasure of being a student under President Worthen while he was teaching Contracts at BYU Law School. I am grateful that I was able to learn from him in that capacity, but even more so on a personal level as he showed that he cared about the students as human beings. I can't applaud the university enough for selecting such a fine man to serve as its president.

  • JLFuller Boise, ID
    May 9, 2014 9:33 a.m.

    Being kind sometimes means telling someone no as in "no, my dear, you cannot be ordained into the priesthood. That is reserved by Heavenly Father for us weak males. You have a greater and more important job to do. You will be a wife and mother and raise Heavenly Fathers children in righteousness. That is much more important. To do it well will demand all your time and even more."

  • Gregorio Norco, CA
    May 8, 2014 10:43 p.m.

    New BYU President seems capable enough and enjoys being with the students. I noticed the same when President Samuelson came to a tailgate meet and greet at the BYU vs USC football game during his first fall as the chief administrator. Really loved President Samuelson. Wish him all the best.

  • srh83 Hillsboro, OR
    May 7, 2014 10:35 p.m.

    My wife and I knew him well when we lived in Provo a few years ago. He is an incredible person who I admire completely. He will do a fantastic job as the President of BYU.

    May 7, 2014 5:45 a.m.

    Vangroovin, I also picked up on the brief mention in the article that Worthen wants to remain in the classroom. If every administrator, staff member, or parent of our school-age children would try to do the same—even volunteer or substitute in a classroom frequently—we’d see a lot of our educational challenges resolved.
    Third Barker—was Worthen every a scout? The article seems to cover that he learned and obeys the scout oath and law, as you indicate in your comment.
    To all political pundits commenting: what I concluded above about educational challenges also applies to politicians. What political party or ideology they espouse makes little or no difference if they remove themselves too far from charity and the people’s interests. The coupling of knowledge with charity as reviewed in the article, is profoundly significant.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    May 6, 2014 5:06 p.m.

    Great man! What a good thing for BYU to have President Worthen. I look forward to listening to him myself in the future.

  • JNA Layton, UT
    May 6, 2014 3:37 p.m.

    I have known the Worthens for many many years. His dad was my mentor and friend and Kevin was close friends with my older siblings. I will say this. The entire family, Dad,Mom, brother, sisters are some of the most remarkable people you will ever meet.

  • Picardy Provo, UT
    May 6, 2014 12:46 p.m.

    If put to a vote at BYU, President Worthen would have been chosen by acclamation. Thankfully for us he received the only vote that matters. We are blessed!

  • Max Upstate, NY
    May 6, 2014 7:42 a.m.


    The fact that he is so caring and so charitable leads me to think he must be very conservative. Liberals don't believe in charity. They want government to take over that role. They believe in taxes and government control, not charity.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    May 6, 2014 7:16 a.m.

    President Worthen is:
    •and Reverent.

  • coltakashi Richland, WA
    May 6, 2014 1:44 a.m.

    The fact that he worked two summers in a coal mine shows that he knows what blue collar life is about. His selection as clerk for a justice of the Supreme Court shows that he is at the top among hs peers in the legal profession.

  • InspectorC Wasatch Front, UT
    May 5, 2014 10:02 p.m.

    PRICELESS photo of Pres. Worthen at the top of this article (the pic of the coed taking a "selfie" photo with him).

    His face has a look of sheer (internal) terror! Or like a deer in the headlights!! haha

    He's probably thinking something like, "Oh my HECK! Is this appropriate for the President of BYU to be posing for 'selfies' with a BYU coed leaning-in so close?!?! Or am I making the biggest mistake of my life on the first day on the job here??" 8=]

    Funny!! Great article!

  • CWEB Orem, UT
    May 5, 2014 4:46 p.m.

    Nobody mentions the most important thing...(Whooosh Worthen!) works even better than Whooosh Cecil! Go Cougs!

  • petersenjc47 Salt Lake City, Utah
    May 5, 2014 4:41 p.m.

    Tad, what a useful and interesting article. Didn't know anything about the new president until reading this. Looks like BYU has another great president although, tongue in cheek, I have to ask: Can anything good come out of Dragerton? It's okay for me to say this, I'm from Ferron myself. There's a bit of friendly rivalry between residents of Carbon and Emery Counties. Actually it makes me more of a fan of the new president, knowing he came from coal country.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    May 5, 2014 4:21 p.m.

    He is a combination of humble Christian with all of its virtues and high intellect. That is perfectly suited for BYU and the challenging environment of higher education.

  • vangroovin West Jordan, UT
    May 5, 2014 4:07 p.m.

    He seems like a down-to-earth, likable person. BYU will benefit from having such a good individual lead. I like that he's still wanting to be in the classroom. That alone should speak volumes about the kind of man he is. It would be a treat to take a class from him.

    Go Cougs!

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    May 5, 2014 2:59 p.m.

    Any leader who's main tenants are compassion and kindness has caught the vision of how Christ lead. In our effort to be "perfect" and "obedient", the unfortunate virtue that seems to be swept aside is compassion. It's what separates Pharisees from Disciples.

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    May 5, 2014 10:56 a.m.

    Great article and introduction into this otherwise unknown man for me. I'm happy to see you are BYU through and through. Good luck in this job! We will miss Pres. Samuelson, but look forward to the years ahead with you.

    Also, thanks for all the work you did with BYUtv. Everyone should tour that facility. It is a landmark in television broadcasting! And, I, too, hope you are a conservative!

    Go Cougars!

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    May 5, 2014 10:36 a.m.

    Re: "I remember him well. Good, kind man, but he didn't take you-know-what from anybody!"

    So, apparently, he's not a Democrat. Their hallmark is always taking you-know-what from anyone.

    Except conservatives, or someone with an actual sense of humor.

  • safetownusa Salt Lake, UT
    May 5, 2014 10:29 a.m.

    Dear Bruce,
    How do you know which political persuasion Pres. Worthen is from by reading this article? It is quite possible for both a republican or a democrat to be kind, caring and considerate of others. I agree that it appears that this man is decent and caring individual. I'm sure BYU is in good hands with his years of experience working alongside Pres. Samuelson.

  • MrsH Altamont, UT
    May 5, 2014 10:25 a.m.

    I remember Kevin from school, he was a pretty cool guy even then.
    I enjoyed hearing the stories about his dad. I remember him well. Good, kind man, but he didn't take you-know-what from anybody!
    Thanks for the article.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    May 5, 2014 9:42 a.m.

    A wonderful man. He'll make another great president for BYU.

  • Bruce Angleton, TX
    May 5, 2014 9:18 a.m.

    Good for BYU. This man seems to be a moderate Republican or quite possibly a Democrat.