Brigham Young University
Gary James Bergera and Ronald Priddis
Growth & Development
Brigham Young’s interest in establishing an academy was not simply the result of his desire to improve educational standards in the desert territory. He was more concerned that Protestant and territory-wide public schools, where impressionable Mormon youth received the greater part of their education, were not promoting acceptable church teachings. Young wrote to his son Willard, after endowing the Provo academy, “We have enough and to spare, at present in these mountains, of schools where young infidels are made because the teachers are so tender-footed that they dare not mention the principles of the gospel to their pupils.” Young hoped that in Provo “the doctrines of the gospel [would] be taught” and that “the revelation[s] of the Lord [would be used as] texts” (Young to Young, in Jessee). Accordingly, the academy’s first deed of trust specified that only “members in good standing in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [and their] children” would be allowed admission, and that “the Old and New Testaments, the Book of Mormon, and the Book of Doctrine and Covenants [would] be read and their doctrines inculcated in the academy.” A second deed, adopted two years later in 1877, required that Mormon scriptures be used as the “standard textbooks,” and stipulated that “no book be used that misrepresents, or speaks lightly of, the divine mission of our Savior, or of the prophet Joseph Smith, or in any manner advances ideas antagonistic to the principles of the gospel.”3
The founding of Brigham Young Academy thus represented a conservative reaction to the national trend towards secularized education. In 1875, the same year Brigham Young signed the academy’s first deed of trust, the inaugural charter of Johns Hopkins University in Maryland denounced “ecclesiasticism [and] partisanship” in higher education, and called for “less [religious] bigotry” in the classroom (Kohlbrenner). During this period, other schools began replacing religious figures on their governing boards with businessmen and academics (O’Grady). Leaders in the “academic revolution” included Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Dartmouth, Brown, and Rutgers. College preparatory schools, known as “academies” in the west and “boarding schools” in the east, were also becoming increasingly secularized (Brubacher and Rudy; Hofstadter). Brigham Young Academy was not the only small, denominational school founded in protest of national trends. However, most such schools proved largely ineffective in influencing higher education because of their preoccupation with religious tenets.4
Brigham Young Academy became even more closely aligned with the Mormon church in 1887 when the school suffered near financial collapse and had to be rescued by church subsidies. Nine years later, church authorities purchased the school outright from the heirs of [p. 3] Brigham Young and amended its articles of incorporation to allow non-Mormons to attend for the first time. Church officials also retained BYA’s Board of Trustees, comprising Provo businessmen and descendants of Brigham Young, but made it answerable to the Church Board of Education. In 1939, board members were replaced by seven leading apostles and by members of the governing First Presidency of the church. Eleven years later, all fifteen members of the First Presidency and Quorum of Twelve Apostles were made ipso facto members of the Board of Trustees. According to its University Handbook, BYU today is “governed after the order of the priesthood, as is the church, and is administered pursuant to the principles of church government.”5
The Purpose of a Church University
As president of the BYU board of trustees, church president Heber J. Grant emphasized that the academic aims of Brigham Young University were less important than its religious objectives. Speaking to a BYU audience in 1940, Grant announced that “the one supreme and only reason that this institution has been established is to make better Latter-day Saints” (YN, 26 Jan. 1940). Five years later, in his “Charge to BYU President Howard S. McDonald,” first counselor in the First Presidency J. Reuben Clark, Jr., added that Brigham Young University has “a dual function, a dual aim and purpose–secular learning, the lesser value, and spiritual development, the greater. These two values must always be together, but the spiritual values, being basic and eternal, must always prevail, for the spiritual values are built upon absolute truth.” Emphasizing this same theme a few years later, a March 1950 “Founding” statement noted that the school had been “founded primarily for the purpose of translating the uplifting truths of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ into the thoughts and lives of youth; in short, to make intelligent and faithful Latter-day Saints of the students.” Ernest L. Wilkinson, a few months before being asked to serve as president of BYU, echoed this sentiment in a campus address, stressing that the school’s “prime emphasis” should be “a comprehensive indoctrination of Mormon theology” (BYU 2:476).6
More recently, the university’s 1982-83 “Mission Statement” reiterated the school’s purpose of “assist[ing] individuals in their quest for perfection and eternal life” by providing “an environment enlightened by living prophets and sustained by those moral virtues which characterize the life and teachings of the Son of God,” and by offering instruction in “the truths of the gospel.” Secular instruction, according to the statement, is provided “because the gospel encourages the pursuit of all truth.” But, administrators are quick to add, “this should be done in the spirit of the gospel, without advocacy of any principle or standard inconsistent with the teachings of the Church [p. 4] of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” BYU’s official history, published in 1975, contained its editors’ observation that “in the final analysis the entire university enterprise–its classrooms, its laboratories, and perhaps most of all the long hours spent in one-to-one counseling–is a sacramental act, a form of worship.”7
Because of this emphasis on religion, BYU officials have come to refer routinely to their school as “the Lord’s University.” President Jeffrey R. Holland confirmed in 1980 that this was “a very basic premise–that this is the Lord’s University” (DU, 4 Sept. 1980). And church president Spencer W. Kimball stressed two months later, “This is his university” (DU, 17 Nov. 1980). Clearly, the primacy of religion afforded at BYU is evident in such statements. “In all our teaching,” Elder Mark E. Petersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles advised BYU faculty in 1958: “We must seek to convert, never confuse. . . . As representatives of this school we are also representatives of the church; and . . . as such we will represent only the accepted views and doctrines and practices of the church.”8
Simultaneously with the establishment of BYA, Brigham Young endowed Young Academy in Salt Lake City and Brigham Young College in Logan, with similar purposes in mind–that of providing education within a religious setting. Young Academy existed in name only until the church adopted the school in 1892, christening it the University of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or the Church University. The school officially opened its doors in 1893, but a nationwide financial panic forced the school’s closure one year later. In exchange for a promise to close the Church University and an 1894 endowment from the church of $60,000, regents of the University of Utah agreed to appoint future church apostle James E. Talmage president of their school (Quinn). In discussing the merits of the agreement during a meeting of the General Church Board of Education in 1901, church president Lorenzo Snow expressed his fear that the church would not be able to “keep control of the [University of Utah], and in that event all [their] efforts in its support would be lost” (Board Minutes, 25 June 1901). As predicted, church influence at the University of Utah did eventually wane, particularly following the 1915 exodus of fifteen faculty in protest of the church’s involvement there.9
Meanwhile, Brigham Young University in Provo tottered with unpaid debts that reached $185,000 in 1914. Through the generosity of mining entrepreneur Jesse Knight, the school was able to pay its creditors, but its future remained uncertain for more than thirty years (BYU 1:443). Some church officials favored divesting themselves of BYU in the 1920s in order to ease the church’s financial burden, and school trustees were entertaining the possibility of closing the school as late as the mid-1940s (Merrill to Taylor). Only gradually did the [p. 5] university emerge as the church’s central institution of higher learning, with the firm financial commitment it now receives from church authorities.10
Karl G. Maeser
Prinicipal, August 1876 to January 1892
Warren Dusenberry remained at Brigham Young Academy only one term, then resigned to pursue a more profitable career as a local businessman and county judge. In early 1876, Brigham Young hired forty-eight-year-old Karl G. Maeser to fill Dusenberry’s position. Maeser, a private tutor, had immigrated to Salt Lake City from Saxony, an independent state bordering Prussia and Austria, in the southeast corner of what is now East Germany. Born to two unmarried, working-class Lutherans, he had studied at a teacher-training seminary in Dresden, had taught on an elementary level, and had become “assistant master teacher” at the Budich Institute, a remedial elementary and preparatory school. While at the Budich Institute, Maeser read Moritz Busch’s Travels Between the Hudson and the Mississippi and became interested in Mormonism. He wrote to the president of the church’s Scandinavian mission for more information about the Mormon movement and was later baptized, along with his wife, Anna Mieth, and another couple, all of whom eventually immigrated to Utah. On his way to Utah, Maeser served two church missions and, after his arrival in 1860, began teaching Brigham Young’s children. He was soon called on a third mission to Europe, then returned to become Salt Lake Tabernacle organist. He continued to supplement his income by tutoring until he was asked to assume leadership of the Provo academy.11
Those not intimately acquainted with Maeser found him a cold, stern, “Prussian” schoolmaster. Close friends knew better. Beneath the intimidating goatee and formal manners was a personable individual, with a disarming sense of humor. One of Maeser’s granddaughters, Beatrice Mitchell, remembered that he would sometimes entertain his grandchildren by “part[ing] his hair in the middle and comb[ing] it all to the sides, and say[ing], ‘That’s to balance my brain.’” Then he would “swing his cane and sing, ‘I’m a dude, dude, dude, dude. . . . You may think that I am awfully crude. Some folks calls me a masher, but now I calls me a dude.’” When students once tied a mule to the principal’s desk early one morning before his arrival, Maeser deadpanned, “You seem to have chosen the smartest among you to stand at the head of the class in my absence.” Although he sometimes “went to pieces” when students became unruly, according to Nels L. Nelson who served under him, Maeser never resorted to corporal punishment, and taught that even parents should avoid spanking their [p. 6] children unless absolutely necessary (Nelson to McKay; Maeser). Maeser spoke with a thick German accent, which students regularly imitated, and was also known for his European manners, which students mimicked–raising their hats to passing ladies, for example (Swensen).12
Like many faithful Mormons in frontier Utah, Maeser kept two wives. During the federal anti-polygamy campaign of the 1880s, Judge Warren Dusenberry was compelled to fine Maeser three hundred dollars for “unlawful cohabitation.” Friends intervened to prevent a prison sentence, insisting that the principal would “die of humiliation” if sent to prison, and students and faculty helped raise money to pay the fine (Sutherland). Later, one of his proteges, James E. Talmage, remarked that during such periods, Maeser would become nervous and insecure, seeking both reassurance and flattery. Although competent in geography, history, languages, and music, Maeser made little attempt to keep abreast of current developments, consciously shunning such areas as organic evolution and psychology–which he called “chimera.” For Maeser, learning was not an end in itself, as Nels Nelson later explained, but a lesson in discipline, a “triumph of the will.” Besides endowing his students with basic skills, Maeser was intent on cultivating character and will power, frequently advising them, “Whatever you be, don’t be a scrub.”13
When Maeser arrived in Provo in 1876, the town was a pockmarked community of dirt roads and adobe houses. Meals were cooked in hanging pots or on skillets, at open hearths. Beds consisted of straw and feather ticks. Main Street was lined with specialty shops offering cheese, meat, pickles, carriages, and harnesses. Vendors sold meat pies on the streets. A fountain in the middle of Main and J streets doubled as a trough for passing horses. Many BYA students did not wear shoes during the warmer months, and most wore hand-me-down clothes which one observer said were of “ancient vintage” (Sutherland). Tuition ranged from three to seven dollars per term, depending on class standing. Enrollment dropped from well over two hundred students the last term at the Timpanogos Branch to seventy-five students the first term at the academy because of the school’s new policy of requiring tuition in advance, even though tuition did not have to be paid in cash (Prospectus). Faculty members were paid as much as half their salaries in commodities (Fletcher; Hinckley). Fifty years after the school’s founding, school trustees still accepted gallon jugs of black-strap molasses from applicants in southern Utah as payment toward tuition.14
The academy’s original curriculum was divided between Primary, Intermediate, and Grammar departments–all for children–and an Academic Department for older students who regularly complained about “the boisterous conduct” of the younger pupils between classes [p. 7] (BYA Student, 3 Feb. 1891). Whenever “a sufficient number of applicants” justified their organization, the Academic Department offered classes in English, German, Latin, Greek, instrumental music, art, history, natural science, geology, chemistry, astronomy, algebra, geometry, surveying, bookkeeping, and drafting. Two years after Maeser’s arrival, the Academic Department was further divided into four separate departments: Language, Polytechnical, and Commercial–all considered high school level–and the Scientific Department for advanced students. The first graduate of the Scientific Department, future apostle James E. Talmage, received the school’s first “collegiate diploma” in 1881 (Scott). In the late 1870s, the school organized a teacher-training program, known as the Normal Department, and a “Ladies’ Work” Department, which focused on domestic skills.15
The academy’s first major setback occurred during the winter of 1884 when the four-room Lewis Building caught fire and burned to the ground. For the rest of the school year, classes were held on the second floor of the First National Bank on the northwest corner of Main and J streets, in adjacent drug and furniture stores, and in the basement of the old Provo Meetinghouse, across the street from the bank on Main Street. The bank and drug store were both operated by Provo businessman and local church leader Abraham O. Smoot, who was also chair of the BYA Board of Trustees. In the fall, the academy moved to the upper floor of the recently completed two-story Zion’s Cooperative Mercantile Industry (ZCMI) warehouse on south J Street. The upper floor was remodeled to provide eight classrooms which were considerably more spacious and attractive than the academy’s former accommodations. Because of the warehouse’s proximity to the railroad, however, lessons had to be suspended every time a train passed. One student later explained that “if a person were praying at devotional and the whistle blew the train’s approach, . . . the prayer [had to be] delayed for the interim, and resumed [later] when attention was possible” (Pardoe).16
With donations received following the Lewis Building incendiary, school trustees purchased a four-acre block on J Street, four blocks north of Main Street, where they envisioned a permanent campus. Reportedly, Maeser sketched the plans for what became the stylish Academy Building based on a dream he had had in which Brigham Young escorted him through a Prussian-style schoolhouse. Young’s own son, Don Carlos, served as architect for the new building, and foundations were laid in 1884. A shortage of funds delayed further construction for six years, until Abraham Smoot mortgaged his house and property to finance the project. The four-story brick edifice, with stone trimming, towers, gables, and steam-driven fans for heating, opened its doors with a lavish celebration in January 1892. Total enrollment by that time had reached some 700 pupils, of which [p. 8] approximately thirty were college-age students. Although the Academy Building did not yet enjoy inside plumbing or electricity, in the eyes of the community it represented the height of nineteenth-century sophistication. Still, rooms had been only partially completed when classes were first held, and curtains served as doors on the fourth floor for nearly a decade. Grounds lay barren for four years, until an ambitious student body planted trees and installed gravel sidewalks. Shortly afterwards, J Street was renamed Academy Avenue.17
Benjamin Cluff, Jr.
Principal and President,
January 1892 to December 1903
The same day the school moved into the Academy Building, sixty-four-year-old Karl Maeser was succeeded as principal by his thirty-four-year-old, moustached assistant, Benjamin Cluff, Jr. The only member of the faculty with a college degree, Cluff had graduated in pedagogy and mathematics from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor five years earlier. His appointment was protested by a number of prominent citizens, including Jesse Knight, who would emerge as the academy’s chief benefactor. Knight branded Cluff “one of those eastern intellectuals” who would contaminate an immature student body with foreign ideas and offered to pay the principal’s salary if the board would appoint George Brimhall, another faculty member, instead of Cluff (Allen). But the board had promised the position to Cluff a year earlier when Cluff had offered to resign over a “lack of unity” with Maeser–and had, in fact, asked Maeser to retire so the school could retain the talented, credentialed college graduate. Maeser, who had become increasingly preoccupied with his second position as superintendent of church schools, reportedly welcomed the change.18
Cluff, a native of northern Utah, had been one of the first students to enroll in the school’s Normal Department, and was the first BYA student called on a church mission. After an interruption of nearly four years in the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) he returned to the academy to resume his studies and to teach in the lower grades. Pupils admired the breadth of his knowledge, but, in many instances, Cluff was more respected than loved. He kept aloof from students and colleagues, more concerned at times with ideas than with people, but was nonetheless a permissive educator who encouraged individuality. Less preoccupied than Maeser with the effects of learning on religious commitment, Cluff had pursued studies at Michigan despite Maeser’s disapproval, based on his concern for Cluff’s spiritual well-being. Four years later, Cluff re-applied for a teaching position at the academy, but Maeser recommended that the Church Board of Education not [p. 9] employ applicants who had attended eastern schools, unless they denounced “some [of their] erroneous notions.” Still, Cluff was hired, and only one year after assuming the principalship in 1892, he returned to Ann Arbor for a brief period and toured other universities in New York, New Jersey, and Massachussetts, carrying with him a letter of introduction from the president of the University of Michigan. Cluff was thus able to meet with other leading university leaders, including progressive educator John Dewey and pioneering psychologist and philosopher William James. Cluff persuaded Dewey to present a series of lectures on education at Brigham Young Academy, and discussed Mormonism’s founder, Joseph Smith, with James, who subsequently treated Smith in his classic Varieties of Religious Experience.19
As principal and later president, Cluff introduced classes in philosophy and psychology, established modest chemistry and physics laboratories, lengthened class periods from one-half to one full hour, and organized two colleges, the Commercial and Normal colleges, with entrance examinations and minimum-age requirements of fourteen and sixteen years. The Normal College was afterwards expanded to include programs in philosophy, letters, and science, in addition to pedagogy. Cluff renamed the Normal College the Collegiate Department and staffed it with faculty holding degrees from eastern schools. Alarmed, Superintendent Maeser complained to the Church Board of Education that eastern-educated professors constituted a “dangerous” threat to the future of the school (Maeser to Nuttall). When Cluff subsequently hired an additional five non-Mormons, Maeser went directly to church president Wilford Woodruff to register an “emphatic” protest; the board promptly informed Cluff that non-Mormons were not to be hired permanently. Not suprisingly, a second element of unease regarding Cluff’s administration was his encouragement of students to apply to prominent colleges outside Utah. At least twelve BYA graduates were accepted to Harvard, the University of Michigan, Michigan State, or Stanford, during Cluff’s eleven-year tenure. Cluff struggled to convince subordinates that it was more important for students to think clearly and independently than to complete innumerable homework assignments. “The best teacher,” he explained, “is not always the one who works the hardest, but rather the one who accomplishes the most” (Cluff to Brimhall and Keeler). In many ways, Cluff’s progressive approach to education represented the antithesis of what had been practiced at the academy under his predecessor.20
Another example of Cluff’s shift in emphasis was the addition to the Academy Block in 1898 of a separate building to house the Collegiate Department. Enrollment soon passed 1,000 at BYA, but only fifty students were officially enrolled in the Collegiate Department. Three stories high and located directly east of the Academy Building, the College Building was a stately brick structure financed by $1,000 [p. 10] donations from a number of area businessmen and church leaders. It included a large auditorium on the top floor known as College Hall and Room D, a spacious area across the lobby from the auditorium, which served as the school’s library and study hall. One year after its completion, electric lights were installed. In 1901, following a meeting of the Board of Trustees, when “all three of the Salt Lake members were under the necessity of using [the] outside conveniences,” indoor toilets were added at the north end of the Academy Building (Brimhall).21
Two years following construction of the College Building, a third structure was added to the Academy Block, the Training School Building. Located on the northeast corner, it housed both the school’s fledgling pedagogical program and elementary classes. The upper level contained the academy’s first gymnasium, with basketball facilities and bleachers. As the student body grew, academy officials purchased the Probert Building, across the street to the west of campus, where the manual arts classes were held. A blacksmith workshop was later built across the street to the south of Academy Block. Despite this rapid expansion, classes remained crowded. There were no faculty offices, and teachers carried their books to and from school, much like students. When the Collegiate Department and the elementary school moved into their own buildings, students began referring to the Academy Building as the High School Building. Intermediate grades, including the high school-level Commercial College, were housed in the Academy Building.22
Despite encouraging progress, Cluff’s intellectual attention was eventually diverted from his school to a defense of the Book of Mormon. Following an academy-sponsored symposium on Book of Mormon geography in 1899, Cluff conceived a plan to bring acclaim to his school and recognition to the church by searching out Book of Mormon artifacts in South America. He also hoped to increase the status of scholarship in the church and to counter the reputation he had earned in some quarters of being more committed to scholarship than to religion. But the abortive expedition, which lay beyond the means of the small academy and ended in embarrassment for all involved, affected the school’s academic advancement over the next three decades. In April 1900, Cluff recruited a group of approximately twenty-three volunteers, including some fifteen students, two faculty, and five or six local people, to accompany him on a four-thousand-mile overland trek to Colombia to examine the geography, geology, vegetation, and wildlife of the region. Six students were to remain in South America long enough to learn the native languages and to record local traditions and legends. Together with two supply wagons and a team of horses, the group departed in mid-April. They had been honored the night before with a lavish banquet in Room D, followed [p. 11] by a grand ball that lasted until 2 a.m. The next day, well-wishers lined the streets and cheered, while students waved class banners. A procession of horse-drawn carriages accompanied the group to the edge of the city. Less than twenty miles south of Provo, at Spanish Fork, the expedition was welcomed by a brass band and honored with yet another banquet and grand ball, which again lasted late. Expedition members lodged with local citizens, then struck out early the next morning to ride through throngs of admirers at Santaquin, Payson, Mona, Nephi, and Fountain Green–all a short distance apart. At Fountain Green, the group was treated to a fourth banquet. As the expedition continued through southern Utah and Arizona, the group was feted at five additional banquets and three more dances. It was not until eleven days into the journey that they pitched camp for the first time and cooked their first meal. The expedition reached the Mexican border in early June without having experienced a serious test of endurance.23
While Cluff negotiated with border officials to allow passage through Mexico, the rest of the group boarded with church members in Thatcher, Arizona. During the ensuing one-month delay, Cluff married a polygamous third wife, Florence Reynolds, who was teaching school at the church’s Juarez Academy in Colonia Diaz, Mexico. Florence, a former student of Cluff and sister of the popular English professor Alice Louise Reynolds, had assumed Cluff’s name the previous year in anticipation of their marriage. While Cluff lingered with Florence in Colonia Diaz, he ordered other expedition members to begin proselyting in Thatcher. But when students discovered why Cluff had prolonged his stay, they became disheartened and angry. Cluff had earlier scolded students en route for dancing with non-Mormon “girls of ill repute,” for swearing, and for using tobacco. His assistant, Professor Walter Wolfe, reacted to the news of Cluff’s delay by escaping to Nogales for an “extended three-day alcoholic spree.” Wolfe later sold his mule to buy liquor. Perhaps in retaliation, the boys determined not to do any more missionary work while Cluff was away and “took every opportunity to visit with the young ladies and to attend the weekly dances” in Thatcher. (Roberts and Cluff; Quinn; Journal History, 9 Aug. 1900.)24
When word of the party’s behavior reached Apostle Heber J. Grant, who was in Arizona on church business, he immediately went to Thatcher to investigate. Cluff was still away in Mexico, and Grant found the students disorderly, unqualified, and “utterly incapable of making such a trip.” He recommended they “let the girls alone” and hurried to Salt Lake City to report to church president Lorenzo Snow. The church president was especially dismayed to learn that expedition members had been told that they were on a special mission for the church and would discover the Book of Mormon city of Zarahemla, [p. 12] that Cluff would unearth golden plates, that Professor Wolfe would be given the gift of translation to interpret the writing on the plates, and that their discoveries would rescue the church from financial ruin (Grant Journal, 19 July 1900). After deliberation, Second Counselor Joseph F. Smith was sent to Mexico to advise the group to either disband or proceed on their own as a “purely scientific” group, without the endorsement of the church. One of the boys, Christian Olsen, wrote in his journal that he was surprised to learn that the expedition had not been organized by church leaders, but that it was “just a scheme of Cluff’s.” Smith’s rebuke was, Olsen claimed, “a sad day for Cluff, for he had to take the whip which he had been giving us, that we could get our release.”25
Most of the students returned to Provo. Cluff, however, believed that “the good name of the school [was] worth more than the risk” of continuing and convinced eight others to push onward with him to Colombia (Roberts and Cluff). One of the party soon became seriously ill, while another found work in Guatemala City to earn fare home. Wolfe, too, left the expedition in Guatemala. When the remaining six finally arrived in Colombia, supplies were so scarce that Cluff and four others remained only one week before sailing to Texas, where they caught a train to Utah. Chester Van Buren was the only member who remained in Colombia long enough to conduct scientific investigations. When he finally returned to Utah, his wildlife specimens became a prized collection at the academy.26
Upon Cluff’s arrival home in 1902, he found that Wolfe, without detailing his own occasional inebriation, had filed a complaint against Cluff with the Board of Trustees for misrepresentation, misuse of authority, and immorality. The Church Board of Education eventually heard Wolfe’s charges, and minutes of a special gathering of the BYA faculty in May report that Joseph F. Smith, by then church president, announced that the board had found Cluff guilty of unwarranted use of authority, had cleared him of all other charges, but intended to retain him as president for only one more year (Faculty Minutes, 17 May 1902). The simultaneous release of Superintendent of Church Schools Joseph M. Tanner for post-1890 polygamy offers circumstantial evidence that Cluff’s forced departure may have actually stemmed from his marriage to Florence Reynolds as much as from his leadership of the ill-fated expedition.27
Convinced his actions during the expedition had been blameless and that God had ordained his marriage to Reynolds, Cluff was devastated by the lack of support from school authorities. Still, he remained loyal to his academic responsibilities during the remaining months, and one of his last official acts was to persuade the Church Board of Education to change the school’s name from Brigham Young Academy to Brigham Young University. After approval was secured [p. 13] in October 1903, second counselor in the First Presidency Anthon H. Lund confided in his journal, “I hope their head will grow big enough [to fill] the[ir] hat.” Students celebrated the change by burying old texts in a mass grave. (One undergraduate was caught that evening trying to exhume the books, fearing he had buried his class notes by mistake.) Cluff also proposed that the Collegiate Department become a distinct school, named the Joseph Smith College, but church officials, suspicious that he may have been attempting to create a new administrative position for himself, rejected the proposal. In early 1904, Cluff moved his two Utah families to Mexico, where they joined Florence, and together managed a rubber plantation and invested in bananas and mahogany.28
George H. Brimhall
President, April 1904 to July 1921
Cluff’s successor as university president was George H. Brimhall, acting principal during Cluff’s absence to South America. The fifty-one-year-old Provo native, who held a degree in pedagogy from BYA, was a popular choice, particularly among many of Cluff’s critics. Before joining the academy faculty in 1897, Brimhall had taught elementary school in nearby Spanish Fork; then became superintendent of Utah county schools, where he was soon known for his bushy, walrus mustache and affable personality. Although not one to spend much time devoted to intellectual interests, he brought cohesiveness to the university community through social activities and outreach programs. A devout Mormon, Brimhall had two wives and fourteen children, although his second wife, Flora Robertson, a former student, lived in seclusion in Spanish Fork after their marriage. Brimhall was afflicted with intense chest and abdominal pain throughout his life, but only his closest associates were aware of the sometimes intense discomfort. Eleven years following his release as president, when the pain had become unbearable, he commited suicide with a hunting rifle. “He did it the hard way, but bless him–he was courageous,” commented one colleague following Brimhall’s death (Hansen). As president, Brimhall continued Cluff’s precedent of hiring teachers with college degrees, employing the university’s first three Ph.D.s and bringing many faculty to the school who held master’s degrees. Unfortunately, his push to upgrade the academic quality of the school later backfired when, in 1911, he found himself calling for the resignation of three professors who were teaching organic evolution and scriptural exegesis. As a result, many of the school’s most highly qualified faculty left BYU for employment elsewhere (see Chapter 4).29
[p. 14] Brimhall’s orthodoxy occasionally lead to comic frustrations for some faculty. Twenty-one-year-old physics instructor Harvey Fletcher, after explaining Newton’s third law of motion to a class, was summoned to Brimhall’s office and told not to teach such speculative theories. To illustrate the concept of “equal and opposite reaction,” Fletcher had used an example of two horses pulling a wagon down the street and explained that the wagon pulled back with “the same force that the horses pulled forward.” Brimhall brusquely informed Fletcher that anyone could see that the wagon would not move under such circumstances. Fletcher later wrote, “I argued with President Brimhall and with the students, and even with a chemistry professor who was there, but to no avail. I had to leave with Brimhall saying, ‘Now, Brother Fletcher, you are young and when you have a little more experience you will see the fallacy of this statement.’”30
After the exodus of credentialed faculty following the 1911 evolution controversy, the first Ph.D. hired at BYU was Martin P. Henderson, employed in 1914 to teach biology. Henderson remained the sole Ph.D. on campus for several years. One undergraduate later remembered that all were “awed by his learning [and] wondered how he could be [so] orthodox” (Wahlquist). The emphasis at BYU during the Brimhall period shifted to teacher training. Programs leading towards a bachelor of science degree, which had been offered since the turn of the century, were discontinued in 1909 and not offered again until 1920.31
During his seventeen years in office, Brimhall oversaw the completion of a Missionary Preparatory Building directly north of the Academy Building; a Ladies’ Gymnasium, across the street from Academy Block, to the west; the Karl G. Maeser Memorial administration building and lecture hall, four blocks northeast of campus along the west ridge of a nearby bench; and an auto mechanics building northeast of the Maeser Building. Construction of these buildings helped to place the university so deeply in debt–$185,000 in 1914–that if Utah valley mining speculator Jesse Knight had not endowed the school with $100,000 worth of irrigation stock, and made additional cash donations, BYU would probably have been forced to close its doors. Instead, the university contemplated additional expansion on the bench, now the site of the main portion of campus. Because the Maeser Memorial had been constructed on an area of the plateau thought by some area residents to have been dedicated by Brigham Young for a temple, school officials suggested that this and other buildings could be viewed as “temples of learning” (Hatch). Still, cautious administrators reserved room for a traditional temple in Raymond Park east of the Maeser Memorial.32
Franklin S. Harris
President, July 1921 to June 1945
[p. 15] Brimhall, ailing and increasingly ineffective, was released in 1921 to assume direction of the university’s Department of Theology and Religion, a position intended not to tax his energies excessively. His replacement, clean-shaven, thirty-seven-year-old Franklin S. Harris, was the school’s first president to hold a Ph.D. Recruited from Utah State Agricultural School (later renamed Utah State University), Harris had been a professor of agronomy, director of the Agricultural Experiment Station, and director of the School of Agricultural Engineering. His technical works on soil chemistry and agricultural technology were highly regarded by colleagues, and he had been named president of the American Society of Agronomy in 1920. Born and raised in Benjamin, Utah, just south of Provo, Harris attended Brigham Young University, where he received a degree in 1907–after which he pursued graduate work at Cornell University in upstate New York. While at BYU, Harris married a classmate, Estella Spilsbury, with whom he raised six children. Harris was BYU’s first non-polygamous president. An avid scholar, he was known to spend hours in the BYU library; he enrolled in classes alongside students and completed a course in Greek taught by church history professor Russel Swensen. Not surprisingly, Harris was sometimes shocked at the lack of intellectual curiosity among some of his faculty. To the teaching staff, he said, “It doesn’t take a big [campus] to be great. . . . We want more buildings, more equipment, but first of all we want to establish pre-eminent scholarship.” Harris encouraged teachers to return to school, initiated sabbatical leaves, and established paid vacations. Clawson Cannon, a professor of animal husbandry, later commented that Harris “turned the school into a university. It was nothing before that–it was a high school.”33
During his first year, Harris hired five faculty with Ph.D.s and stipulated that all new faculty hold at least a master’s degree. His second year in office, Harris applied for accreditation with the Northwest Association of Secondary and Higher Schools, which recognized BYU as a four-year college, but not as a university. Harris petitioned for accreditation with the Association of American Universities, but BYU failed to meet the criteria in student entrance requirements, coursework, faculty credentials, or research funds. Harris admitted that the evaluation was “absolutely fair in every respect” and worked vigorously to improve the school’s standards. As a result, BYU was finally accepted as a member of the association in late 1928. In attracting better faculty to BYU, Harris promised that the university would stand for “academic freedom without any attempt to avoid issues.” [p.16] Harris tried to make himself generally accessible to the teaching staff, endorsing most faculty recommendations in academic matters. “You know more about this than anybody else,” Harris would say. “We trust you. Go ahead and shoot the works. We’ll be with you” (Hansen).34
In 1926, Harris was asked to present a paper on “Soil Alkali as a Scientific Problem in Pacific Regions” at the Pan-Pacific Science Congress in Tokyo. He also arranged to visit universities in the Orient, Middle East, and Europe on his way back. Three years later, the American Association for Jewish Colonization in the Soviet Union invited him to lead a group of agricultural experts to the Biro-Bidjan region of Siberia to investigate the possibility of creating a Jewish homeland there. His cordial appraisal of the Soviet Union was criticized locally. He freely admitted, for example, that he had become “attached to a great people who were sacrificing and struggling that better human [conditions] might be worked out, . . . even though in many cases their methods appeared to be so much in error.” Regarding religious intolerance in the Soviet Union, Harris remarked: “I think it is a little like Mark Twain said about death: [it is] `a great deal exaggerated.’ . . . Russia never had the Reformation, . . . and as a result has to do in a short time what western Europe required several hundred years to do. Naturally, there are a lot of growing pains coming out of the situation.” In 1935, State Department officials asked Harris to represent the United States at the American Scientific Congress in Mexico City. Four years later, the Iranian government invited him to oversee the reorganization of its department of agriculture. During these periods of extended absence from the university, Harris relied on subordinates, particularly on the dean of the College of Education, L. John Nuttall, and the dean of the Graduate School, Christen Jensen, both of whom served terms as acting president. Harris’s confidence in his staff, as well as his expanding breadth of interests and commitment to scholarship, was a source of pride for both faculty and students.35
The first building constructed on campus during Harris’s administration was the Heber J. Grant Library, east of the Maeser Memorial building. The second floor was divided between the library’s closed stacks and a large reading room; the ground floor consisted of classrooms. Expectedly, Harris gave priority to acquiring books. Before long, books had to be stored in other campus buildings as well. After completion of the Grant Library, college classes were held more and more on upper campus, and the four-block trek between campuses annoyed many undergraduates. Writing for the Y News in 1930, student editorialist Sam Taylor quipped, “Word of Wisdom [i.e., the church's prohibition against alcohol, tobacco, coffee and tea] or not, there is a chance for a cleanup with a little stand between the hill and the lower buildings, serving tall green glasses of iced tea. [p. 16] … The music of ice tinkling against a thin glass about two-thirty any hot afternoon!” Originally, school administrators had hoped to purchase the residential area between upper and lower campus and to merge the two ends of campus. The first two dormitories completed in the late 1930s, Allen and Amanda Knight halls, were built just one block southwest of Temple Hill. But because undeveloped land on the plateau was less expensive than land within the city, the physical plant naturally expanded farther east and north across the bench. In 1935, the Mechanic Arts Building was enlarged into a two-story classroom building and renamed the George H. Brimhall Building. A football stadium was built on the west side of Temple Hill, and stadium restrooms, which students termed “Flushing Heights,” were later converted into faculty offices as enrollment continued to climb.36
When Harris recommended in the early 1930s that the university needed a larger auditorium, church president Heber J. Grant suggested a chapel instead. Accusations of faculty disloyalty had reached church headquarters and Grant felt that the school’s religious character should be enhanced (see Chapter 2). Harris immediately agreed, and requested a chapel with a large auditorium and numerous classrooms (Sauls). The Joseph Smith Memorial, completed one and one-half years later, was constructed entirely by student and local volunteers. This grassroots enthusiasm had its complications, however. Workers removed too much dirt in digging the foundation, for example. The problem was eventually resolved by adding an unplanned basement which housed the school’s first cafeteria, unofficially called “Indigestion Hall,” and a student-operated snack bar, the Cougar Eatery. (Later renovations turned the dining area into office space for the school’s religion teachers.) Because the new building was a chapel, opposition to its construction in an area reserved for a temple was blunted. But as more trees were toppled for additional buildings in the same area, some local residents protested that the university was destroying the “sacred grove” (McDonald).37
The Joseph Smith Memorial contained, besides the cafeteria, a 1,000-seat auditorium, an upstairs banquet hall (now offices), a religious library, and classrooms. For many years, the building, used for on-campus Sunday services, was thought to be sacred rather than academic. The class of 1940 would have installed “chapel chimes” but discovered that the decorative holes in the steeple were not large enough to allow the sound to escape. Seven years later, Crawford Gates, already an accomplished student musician, was not allowed to present an organ recital that included contemporary music. In 1951, ten years after the building’s completion, Thornton Wilder’s Our Town became the first theatrical presentation staged in the auditorium. It was allowed only because it did not require elaborate sets. When plans were made to have curtains installed the following year, some students [p. 18] complained that “the spirituality of the auditorium would be destroyed” (DU, 11 July 1952). Fortunately, portable curtains proved to be an acceptable compromise; soon all of the school’s dramatic productions were being performed in the auditorium. Ten years later in 1962, the auditorium was the scene of a student-sponsored jazz concert. From the mid-1960s on, the building has been one of three campus halls used as movie theaters on weekends. Church services are still held in the auditorium, but student wards now meet in almost every available room on campus for Sunday worship and classes. That the Joseph Smith Building currently houses religious education faculty is perhaps the last vestige of its former status as a chapel.38
Even as Harris pushed to establish more rigorous academic standards, church leaders contemplated abandoning the school altogether because of financial pressures. In the late 1920s, President Heber J. Grant confessed during a meeting of the Church Board of Education, “Nothing has worried me more since I became president than the expansion of the appropriation for the church school system” (in Bell). Grant was impressed that the church’s “seminary program” (extra-curricular religious instruction for high school students) cost the church only twenty-four dollars per capita, whereas a complete liberal arts education cost the church over two hundred dollars per student. During subsequent board meetings, church leaders mulled over plans to “withdraw from the field of academic instruction altogether and center educational efforts in the promotion of a strictly religious education program” (in Bell). But the question of training the church’s seminary teachers continually surfaced. The board eventually agreed in 1926 to sell its junior colleges (formerly academies) and to retain Brigham Young University as an institution where emphasis could be placed on “preparation of . . . teachers of religious subjects.” Some board members voiced their opposition to plans for establishing BYU as “a great church university, involving as it would an elaborate building program,” including expensive, “ultra-technical courses” (see, for example, Merrill to Wilkinson). One of the church’s junior colleges, Brigham Young College in Logan, Utah, was closed immediately following the board’s March 1926 meeting. When Adam S. Bennion, superintendent of church schools, resigned shortly afterwards, opposition to church schools intensified. Church officials told Bennion’s successor, Joseph F. Merrill, they intended to withdraw from the academic field entirely and that Brigham Young University would be disposed of along with other schools. In fact, on 20 February 1929, the Church Board of Education ordered Merrill to divest the church of BYU. His efforts never really got off the ground, however, except to the extent that he was able to oversee the transfer of Snow, Weber, and Dixie colleges to Utah, and Gila Academy in Thatcher, Arizona, to Arizona. Idaho refused Ricks College, at Rexburg, which, [p. 19] together with the LDS Business College in Salt Lake City, remained the sole vestiges of the church’s former network of junior colleges.39
During this period of fiscal restraint, which was further exacerbated by the depression of the 1930s, Harris evidently became estranged from members of the Board of Trustees. Because ranking trustees were usually reluctant to approve funds for campus expansion, Harris struck out on his own, purchasing land on the plateau with student bookstore profits, without informing the board of these acquisitions (Sauls). He also filled board meetings with matters he considered unimportant, such as asking the board’s permission to accept minor donations to the university, as a diversion from more substantive issues which he wished to decide himself. After one such meeting, Harris commented, “Well, I believe they can chew on this and not do us any harm” (in Sauls). Eventually, however, he wearied of battling members of the board and found himself increasingly opposed to the financially conservative programs of J. Reuben Clark, Jr., first counselor in the church’s First Presidency, who further irritated Harris by repeatedly pressing for a purging of “heretical” faculty (see Chapter 2). Harris, convinced that Clark was “hedging up the way” for BYU’s future as a respected academic institution, tendered his resignation in late 1944 to accept a position he had long coveted–the presidency of Utah State Agricultural College. He remained at BYU until his successor assumed control the following year.40
Howard S. Mcdonald
President, July 1945 to October 1949
When J. Reuben Clark announced following Harris’s departure that he wanted “a man of spirituality” to lead BYU, he explained that the church was looking for “an administrator with a fine personality, with as much experience as he could have, and with proper scholastic attainments.” The man who most impressed Clark and other church authorities was the fifty-one-year-old, silver-haired superintendent of the Salt Lake City School District and husky veteran of the Utah State Agricultural College football team, Howard S. McDonald. Born and raised in Salt Lake City, McDonald had served a church mission to the eastern United States, fought in an artillery brigade in Europe during World War I, and studied at Utah State Agricultural College, where he earned average grades and received a degree in irrigation and drainage engineering. He had then taught in the USAC general science department until 1924, when he accepted a position as a part-time physical education instructor at Mission High School in San Francisco, at an annual salary increase of $4,000 over what he had received at USAC. He eventually became deputy superintendent of the San Francisco School District. While teaching in San Francisco, McDonald also [p. 20] pursued a doctorate in education at the University of California at Berkeley. When offered the superintendency of the Salt Lake City School District, at a substantial increase in pay, he jumped at the offer. He later accepted the presidency of BYU only on condition that he receive a $1,500 yearly increase over Harris’s salary. While at BYU, McDonald earned his doctoral degree from the University of California in 1949. Later that year, after only four years in office, he accepted the presidency of the combined campuses of Los Angeles State College and Los Angeles City College, at double his BYU salary of $6,000.41
In his first meeting with the five-member executive committee of the Board of Trustees, McDonald was told that “BYU was on the road out” and that he was expected to develop a divestiture plan. During a second meeting, he challenged the wisdom of closing Brigham Young University at which, he later reported, “the brethren perked up their ears” (McDonald). Elder Joseph Fielding Smith, one of several critics of BYU’s “liberal” faculty, unexpectedly agreed that the church needed BYU as much as BYU needed the church. The church had begun constructing institutes of religion adjacent to college campuses in 1928, and Smith felt that institute faculty should not study religion at non-Mormon institutions. After considerable debate, the executive committee reversed its earlier resolve and reaffirmed its commitment to Brigham Young University. McDonald immediately began requesting additional funding, earning himself an epithet among some board members as the “Spendthrift from California,” but increasing the church’s annual contribution from $400,000 in 1945 to $2 million in 1950 (McDonald).42
McDonald inherited a campus that was too small for the existing student body, with inadequacies that became painfully obvious as veterans began returning to school following World War II. But when he first petitioned board members for construction funds, McDonald was told instead to solicit surplus buildings from the Federal Public Housing Authority in San Francisco. His comment–”I [thought] the church was against government aid in any shape or form”–did not sit well among some trustees who felt they were simply “tightening purse strings” (McDonald). In San Francisco, McDonald arranged for the transfer of approximately thirty former military barracks to Provo. The government contributed over $800,000 to cover the cost of the buildings, renovation, and transportation to Provo, while BYU covered bills for water, sewage, and electrical connections. One or two of the structures became academic buildings, including the North Building, which housed the College of Commerce, located at the present site of the Harold B. Lee Library. The building’s paper-thin walls reportedly allowed students to hear three lectures at a time. The majority of barracks were placed east of campus, at the current location of the J. Reuben Clark Law School, where they formed the [p. 21] Wymount Village student housing complex. For $15,000, BYU also acquired the National Youth Administration Building (later Knight-Mangum Hall), which had housed government-operated trade classes during the Depression. Converted into a women’s dormitory and renamed Campus Dorm, it was soon filled with wall-to-wall double bunk-beds. Creative coeds hung sheets from the ceilings to provide privacy.43
The motley assortment of government buildings was accentuated by the school’s haphazard landscaping. Sagebrush and prairie grass adorned much of upper campus; there were few trees or lawns, even around permanent structures. In 1950, one student described upper campus as having “the architecture of Siberia, the desert of Arabia, and the wreckage of Korea,” while some faculty complained that the grounds “appear[ed] to have been done in a piecemeal, half-hearted manner,” and noted that the few shrubs which had been planted were not cared for (DU, 7 Nov. 1950). Not to be outdone, the student newspaper printed cartoons of students falling into neck-deep mud-holes during wet weather and choking on dust during the summer. McDonald eventually obtained funding for lawns and plants, as well as approval in 1948 for a badly needed $2 million science building. Much of the impetus for the building came from the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Carl F. Eyring. After his death in 1951, students circulated a petition requesting that it be named after Eyring. Trustees, hoping to name the new building after an apostle, postponed their decision for four years until 1954 when they finally consented to the Carl F. Eyring Science Center.44
In repeated confrontations with trustees over funding, McDonald became increasingly emotional, eventually contributing to a loss of respect of many key trustees. After giving vent to his frustration in one board meeting, church president George Albert Smith reportedly lectured him, “You do not lose your temper here” (Clark). On another occasion, following a banquet in the Joseph Smith Memorial, President Clark, who had by this time come to regret his endorsement of McDonald, angrily drilled McDonald about his performance as president and suggested that he begin looking elsewhere for a job. McDonald was reduced to tears (Sauls; Swensen; McDonald). In addition, many faculty had concluded by this time that McDonald was more of “a high school principal than a university president” (Sauls); and when offered the presidency of Los Angeles State College and Los Angeles City College in 1949, he accepted, knowing that his future at BYU was uncertain. Again in California, he gained national attention when he curtly advised students who demonstrated against the imposition of loyalty oaths on faculty to “mind their own business.” Because of his hard-line stance, McDonald lost the entire student council, which resigned in protest. He then announced, “I have tried [p. 22] democracy on this campus and it didn’t work; now I will try autocracy” (DU, 20 April 1950). McDonald remained in Los Angeles for fifteen stormy years then returned to Salt Lake City to become president of the church’s Salt Lake Temple.45
Ernest L. Wilkinson
President, February 1951 to July 1971
Some ten months following McDonald’s resignation, while Professor Emeritus Christen Jensen served as acting president, the executive committee of the board recommended that BYU alumnus and eastern attorney Ernest L. Wilkinson be appointed seventh president of Brigham Young University. Outspoken and politically conservative, Wilkinson was the personal favorite of J. Reuben Clark and had maintained a stream of correspondence with Apostles John Widtsoe, Albert E. Bowen, and Stephen L Richards, outlining his views on the direction of the university. “President McDonald is urging a revision of the entire curriculum ‘in line with what has been done at other [eastern] universities,’” Wilkinson had written just two months before McDonald’s resignation. “My own view is that . . . many of our [country's] political and economic maladjustments are the result of [the] extremely bad educational leadership of certain eastern left-wing institutions” (Wilkinson to Richards).46
A native of northern Utah, the fifty-one-year-old Wilkinson had been raised near Ogden city’s race track, in what was popularly known as “Hell’s Half Acre,” not far from the city’s red light district. As a youth, he had sympathized with his father’s brand of trade union socialism and had associated with a group of neighborhood “toughs.” But at his mother’s urging, he enrolled at church-owned Weber Academy for two years, transferring to BYU where he graduated in 1921. Though his exposure to church schools influenced his later life, contemporaries saw in his aggressiveness the mark of his “rough” adolescence. Once, as a student, Wilkinson was summoned to President Brimhall’s office on suspicion of misbehavior, where his demeanor so irritated Brimhall that he branded young Wilkinson a “little pinhead” (Ballif). Soon, however, the ambitious undergraduate had distinguished himself both as a debator and as editor of the student newspaper. Following graduation, he returned to Weber, where he taught English and speech for two years, making frequent trips to Provo to court BYU coed Alice Ludlow, whom he married in 1923.47
After his wedding, Wilkinson moved to Washington, D.C., where he hoped to land a job with Utah’s Democratic U.S. senator, William H. King, for whom he had earlier campaigned. Finding no openings in the senator’s office, Wilkinson took employment at a Washington, D.C., business high school, teaching shorthand and typing, although [p. 23] he admitted he was proficient in neither. Accepted at George Washington University’s law school, he graduated summa cum laude three years later, and then earned a doctorate in juridical science from Harvard. He also taught at the New Jersey Law School and worked for the New York City law firm of Charles Evans Hughes, a liberal Republican who had served as U.S. Secretary of State. Hughes was appointed chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court during Wilkinson’s tenure with his firm. When Wilkinson left Hughes, Schurman, and Dwight to establish his own firm in Washington, he took with him a major case involving the Confederated Band of Ute Indians and the U.S. government. After more than ten years of intense litigation, Wilknson’s firm emerged victorious with a nearly $32 million settlement, including $3 million in lawyers’ fees. While in Washington, Wilkinson also served in a local church position under Ezra Taft Benson, future U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. Politically, during his years on the east coast, Wilkinson’s allegiance to Democratic politics soured–the result, he insisted, of U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “liberal” administration.48
Like his predecessors Maeser and Brimhall, Wilkinson believed that the value of a college degree lay in the amount of work invested in it. At his October 1951 inauguration, he announced, “There is no place in any university for a drone. Unless a student is fully engaged in intellectual pursuits, he will probably acquire habits of indolence which will outweigh the positive results of attendance at college” (Messenger). An incurable workaholic, Wilkinson regularly spent weekends in his office–including Sundays–and expected similar hours from subordinates. He did not consider himself “contemplative,” admitted that he “seldom” read the scriptures or “any other book,” and once confessed that one of his life’s goals was to “die in the harness” (BYU 3:775). Many employees “found it frustrating to endure the pressure of working” under the demanding president (Thomas). “There is no time to discuss matters when a contact is made with you,” Graduate School dean Ashael D. Woodruff complained to Wilkinson shortly after his arrival on campus in 1951. “We get the impression… that many of our problems are not important enough to receive much time, or that you have made up your mind about some matters before we feel they have been fully aired.” Wilkinson admittedly “rebelled at having to take time to see people,” and was annoyed that “faculty, whose lives [had] been cloistered on the campus and [did] not have [a] practical touch,” frequently diverted his attention from more pressing concerns. Faculty “eggheads” can be “a little too theoretical,” he once wrote, realizing that he would never be completely comfortable in “the academic mold” (Wilkinson Journal, 10 March 1960, 19 Aug. 1966, 24 July 1958; Thomas). Wilkinson repeatedly offended many faculty members with his comparisons of [p. 24] education and law; was openly suspicious of faculty involvement in the administration of BYU; and frequently reminded school employees that their opinions did not have the same bearing on university policy as those of the president and trustees. Only after some twenty years of give-and-take did he reluctantly allow the formation of an advisory faculty council in 1970.49
Few of Wilkinson’s associates found him likable, describing him as paternalistic, dictatorial, and inconsiderate. Yet in the eyes of others he could be energetic, committed, even sympathetic–an “academic George E. Patton, unafraid to tell it like it is” (Harvey). He was, academic vice-president Robert K. Thomas has admitted, “easy to caricature.” “I don’t have time to be polite,” Wilkinson once explained. “Sometimes it is better to make a wrong decision than to make no decision at all.” (Wilkinson, “Need” and “Response.”) His wife, Alice, initially doubted that her husband’s “impatient temperament could fit into a group of academicians;” and Wilkinson freely admitted that Alice “made the friends,” while he “made the enemies” during his twenty years on campus (“Response”). Colleagues remember the five-foot five-inch tall president as the “Little General,” “Little Caeser,” “Little Napoleon,” or the “Tasmanian Devil” (Time; Utah Holiday). Among university custodial staff, the president’s office was known as the “hornet’s nest” (Harwood). He could be “rough on some people,” was occasionally “crude,” “didn’t care much for public relations,” and was a “fighter,” “determined to have his own way,” while argumentation was simply a “part of our game” (Cullimore). “If I sometimes offend people it is not because I want to,” he once wrote, “but because I am determined to get something done” (Wilkinson to Wright). He observed to Ed Butterworth, BYU’s long-suffering public relations director, “I have someday got to learn the lesson of keeping my own trap shut since I criticize others for opening theirs.” As former fine arts dean Gerrit deJong, Jr., recalled: Wilkinson was “raised under the motto, `If you are right, plead for the law. If you are wrong, shout like hell and get your way anyhow.’”50
During his first thirteen years in office, Wilkinson refused to accept a salary, relying instead on law office earnings which sometimes totaled more than $100,000 annually. Following Howard McDonald’s salary negotiations, Wilkinson’s willingness to serve without pay impressed many church authorities. And like Harris, Wilkinson soon emerged as a skillful manipulator of board policy. He discovered, for example, that trustees were often more concerned with moral questions than “technical problems of education,” and that many held “conflicting viewpoints” regarding the future of BYU. Following a March 1955 board meeting, he resolved to “take fewer things to the Board of Trustees, use my best judgment in making many decisions myself, knowing that . . . unless I make some serious mistake, the entire board [p. 25] would generally support me in my decisions.” Furthermore, he cultivated a “special arrangement” with church president David O. McKay, giving him privileged access to the church leader. “If Wilkinson wanted something and was turned down by the board,” explained BYU Treasurer Keifer Sauls, “he’d . . . go around the board and go straight to David O. McKay. . . . Brother McKay was easy pickings for Wilkinson.” For many church officials, particularly Henry D. Moyle, Hugh B. Brown, and Harold B. Lee, Wilkinson’s “end runs” to McKay represented a threat to church protocol. When McKay’s health began to deteriorate in the mid-1960s, Wilkinson found himself plagued by “no end of problems” and “all kinds of cross currents,” and eventually locked horns with virtually every trustee. “If the gospel were not true,” he wrote, “some of the [church's] authorities with their internal disputes would have ruined it long ago” (Wilkinson Journal, 23 Feb., 7 July, 20 Sept., 1965, 25 July, 8 Sept. 1969).51
After his arrival in Provo in early 1951, Wilkinson quickly gathered around him a tightly knit coterie of “lieutenants” that formed the nucleus of his administrative hierarchy. Early presidential appointees included Harvey L. Taylor, former superintendent of the Mesa (Arizona) Public School System; William F. Edwards, a graduate of the New York University Graduate School of Business; and Ben E. Lewis, former director of sales and promotion for Hot Shoppes restaurants. Besides administrative and support staff personnel, Wilkinson also filled college dean and department chair vacancies by recruiting outside the university. “Ernest and I didn’t have the same philosophy of life nor did we have the same philosophy of education,” remembered Harvey Taylor, executive assistant to the president. “[But] I made up my mind when I came that I was going to be loyal to him and support him regardless of our differences. . . . If I couldn’t, I’d leave.”52
Many of Wilkinson’s appointees found the school to be “nothing more than a high-class junior college” when they arrived. “I know of no university that is doing less with its opportunities,” wrote biology dean Clarence Cottam. Problems included heavy teaching loads, limited research and library resources, low salaries, the number of faculty who had received their highest degree from BYU, and an inadequate physical plant. Although lacking the breadth of Franklin Harris’s vision, Wilkinson desperately “wanted the university to appear well on paper” (Young). “New brooms sweep cleaner than old,” he confided to Keifer Sauls, “and I know that while I’m new, I have a better chance with the board” (Sauls). Wilkinson later admitted that he spent more time trying to convert trustees to BYU than establishing a good working relationship with members of the faculty. Former history professor Brigham D. Madsen credited Wilkinson with obtaining “the support of the church . . . [which had] kept it going but [had] not support[ed] it substantially.” During Wilkinson’s phenomenally [p. 26] expansionistic twenty years, the student body increased six-fold to more than 25,000, the size of the faculty quadrupled, the number of faculty holding Ph.D.s rose 18 percent, the number of departments doubled, the first of some twenty doctoral programs was authorized, library holdings rose nearly 500 percent, and the number of permanent buildings jumped more than twenty-fold. In no other areas was Wilkinson’s impact more prominent than in his formula for student recruitment, his drive to increase church appropriations, and his expansion of the physical plant.53
Shortly after his inauguration, Wilkinson arranged to have BYU representatives accompany the church’s General Authorities on speaking tours of Mormon communities. The intent, Wilkinson explained, was to “encourage Latter-day Saint boys and girls to attend our church schools,” especially Brigham Young University. However, some Utah educators, including Apostle Joseph F. Merrill, former church commissioner of education, complained that Wilkinson’s program was a campaign to “pressure” LDS students already planning to enroll at other local universities to attend BYU. Wilkinson ignored these and other protests and saw enrollment more than double during his first ten years. As a related approach to recruiting students, BYU admissions officials also obtained the addresses of LDS missionaries and mailed them promotional material extolling the virtues of attending BYU. Former missionaries were invariably accepted regardless of previous academic achievement and have since come to comprise nearly one-half of BYU’s total enrollment. Another targeted enrollment group was American Indians, but the first wave of Indian recruits dropped out at a rate of nearly 60 percent. Special tutorial programs proved moderately succesful in helping Indians adapt to college, and later efforts succeeded in reducing Indian drop-out rates by 20 percent.54
At the end of the first ten years of Wilkinson’s push for increased student enrollment, a survey of BYU undergraduates revealed that as many as one-fifth had enrolled as a second choice or because of pressure from parents and church leaders. But the school’s drive to provide students with a variety of extracurricular activities, together with the emergence of its reputation as a highly “socialized” university, further escalated undergraduate enrollments. As the number of students increased, administrators tightened admissions standards. The minimum required high school grade point average rose from 2.0 (a C) to 3.2 (a B+), and student drop-out rates eventually decreased from 50 to 40 percent. Notwithstanding, the ACT (American College Test) scores of incoming freshmen remained constant. In 1967, BYU consolidated its admissions criteria to include a combination of high school grade point averages; ACT scores; ecclesiastical interviews; scholastic, creative, and athletic talents; and “other personal circumstances.” Three years later, church officials, much to Wilkinson’s chagrin, p. 27] established an enrollment ceiling of 25,000 students and began encouraging high school seniors to attend universities nearest their homes (Ex. Com. Minutes, 29 Jan., 23 April, 24 Sept. 1970; Wilkinson Journal, 29, 30 Jan. 1970).55
One dilemma confronting BYU officials during this period was the place of non-LDS students on campus. Traditionally, non-Mormons never amounted to more than 5 percent of the student body and were not actively recruited. During the 1940s, non-Mormons had been excused from the university’s compulsory religion requirement, but Wilkinson rescinded this exemption shortly after his arrival. Catholic clergy consequently “informed [their] students that they could not continue [at BYU] with a clear Catholic conscience, and advised them to not continue their studies at BYU” (Deans’ Minutes, 9 Sept. 1940, 15 Dec. 1954; Board Minutes, 15 July 1948, 18 May 1953). Nearly one-third of BYU’s Catholic undergraduates did not return to Provo the following term, but the number of Protestant non-Mormons remained unaffected. Later, administrators discovered that while 30 percent of all non-LDS students attending BYU joined the church, non-Mormons tended to violate school standards of conduct at disproportionately high rates. After debating the merits of restricting admission to LDS students, administrators decided in 1964 to require non-Mormons to pay a substantially higher tuition. Officially, the policy reflected the financial investment of Mormons, whose tithing subsidized the university. Unofficially, school administrators understood that the higher tuition would discourage non-Mormons, who would still be required to enroll in religion classes as well. Non-LDS enrollment decreased, while complaints from non-Mormons about being subjected to intense proselyting efforts mounted. BYU officials subsequently approved in the 1970s the establishment of several non-LDS student clubs, including the Baptist Student Union, the Christian Science College Organization, and the Higher Tuition Club. Administrators also agreed in the early 1980s to co-sponsor an on-campus outreach “Interdenominational Christian Fellowship” program, staffed by local non-Mormon ministers.56
Although he had earlier criticized McDonald’s administration for its lack of financial restraint, Wilkinson’s appointment coincided with the waning of J. Reuben Clark’s fiscal conservativism in the face of David O. McKay’s internationalism and Second Counselor Henry D. Moyle’s deficit spending programs. In fact, Wilkinson succeeded in more than doubling the church’s appropriation to BYU during his first five years in office. “No one, least of all I, ever thought the budget would become so large in so short a time,” Wilkinson confessed at a time when church subsidies approached $10 million (Wilkinson Journal, 25 Oct. 1957). “Ernest comes in here with the most elaborate set of hogwash that I have ever seen to justify his need for money,” [p. 28] Apostle Harold B. Lee reportedly exclaimed. “And he always gets it because there is no point at which you can attack it; there is no point where you can show that it is wrong; there is no point where you can show a fallacy in his argument.” After one of Wilkinson’s first meetings with the Board of Trustees, Elder Albert E. Bowen predicted, “Wilkinson’s going to get more money out of us than the others we turned down for the presidency” (“Response”). Wilkinson proved so adept at financial deliberations that following a year when church expenditures had exceeded income by some $8 million, he still managed to obtain funding for eight campus buildings. Inevitably, however, criticisms of Wilkinson’s “extravagance” increased, and church subsidies, as a percentage of total appropriations, decreased nearly 50 percent between 1960 and 1970. Still, during Wilkinson’s twenty years overall, church appropriations to BYU rose from $1 to $22 million annually, while total university expenditures increased from $2 to $65 million.57
Relatively few of these increased financial appropriations benefitted the university’s historically underpaid faculty even though Wilkinson succeeded in more than doubling salaries during his twenty years. In fact, employment at the church school had early come to be viewed as an “act of service,” a “labor of love.” Throughout the 1930s, employees experienced salary cuts totalling 18 percent and had not fully recovered their losses by the time Wilkinson took office in 1951. At his inauguration, Wilkinson asked faculty to “continue to make great sacrifices” for the school, and trustees later voiced their “appreciation” to the faculty for “their self-sacrifice in accepting salaries less than they had opportunities of obtaining elsewhere” (Messenger; Board Minutes, 18 May 1953). Despite perfunctory adjustments, salaries during Wilkinson’s tenure consistently lagged behind those offered at comparable private and public institutions by almost 30 percent. Too, salaries were sometimes administered on the basis of need rather than professional merit; women found themselves at a particular disadvantage. Wilkinson personally approved virtually every faculty salary, and salary information was kept confidential to avoid dissatisfaction over sometimes arbitrary pay differentials. An equitable and competitive salary system would not be established until the 1970s.58
Besides increased church appropriations and student tuition revenues, Wilkinson had hoped to improve the school’s financial base through several fund raising initiatives. At first, the president encountered considerable resistance from trustees who feared that his programs would compete for tithing contributions. But when the Ford Foundation unexpectedly contributed more than $1 million to the university in 1956 as part of a nation-wide $500 million endowment to American colleges and universities, church leaders became enthusiastic about the possibility of outside revenue. Wilkinson appointed [p. 29] Los Angeles high school principal Nobel Waite as director of BYU’s $5 million, four-year Destiny Fund drive. Trustees stressed that Waite was not to use church organizations in soliciting contributions; but Waite, a stake president, found it easiest to raise funds by canvassing local wards and stakes. When trustees learned of Waite’s activities, they arranged to have him called as a mission president in Scotland (Wilkinson). During his four-year assignment as Destiny Fund director, Waite raised approximately $200,000.59
In the meantime, Wilkinson had learned that many large corporations matched dollar for dollar the contributions of their employees to institutions of higher learning. He secured permission from church leaders to have the contributions to BYU of Mormon employees at participating corporations credited to the donors’ tithing accounts. Before the program was discontinued in the early 1970s, donations to BYU from some companies outnumbered employee contributions to all other colleges and universities combined, much to the annoyance of many corporate executives. Wilkinson later attempted to require that graduating seniors take out a $1,000 life insurance policy naming BYU as the irrevocable beneficiary. Ranking trustees, however, succeeded in having the proposal indefinitely tabled. Eventually, BYU became its own greatest obstacle in fund raising drives. One study found, for example, that the school’s parochial and politically conservative image frequently made it unattractive as a recipient of large corporate grants (Porter and Graves). By 1971, university officials had raised a fifteen-year total of nearly $33 million, for an average of $2.2 million per year.60
Unquestionably the most impressive legacy of Wilkinson’s tenure was the unparalleled growth of the school’s physical plant. After less than one year in office, Wilkinson managed to acquire a special appropriation of more than $500,000 from the board for land purchases. He eventually oversaw at least two revisions of the school’s expansion plans. When he suffered a heart attack after five years in office, he insisted that it was because “he couldn’t get his building program going fast enough” (Brewster). Yet in his haste, he allowed several buildings to be constructed without benefit of a master plan. Faced with land costs an average of 60 percent above appraised value for property bordering the campus, Wilkinson spearheaded legislation in 1957 granting all Utah colleges and universities, including BYU, the power of eminent domain. Among state legislators, the dogged Wilkinson became known as “Julius Seizure” because of his intense lobbying efforts (Clark). While BYU officials never resorted to court action in resolving land negotiations, for sixteen years they relied on the “psychological advantage afforded by the statute” to help curb inflated prices (Sandgren to Oaks). Despite occasional protests from area residents, Wilkinson saw his campus more than double in land area, [p. 30] with over $143 million invested in land, permanent structures, and landscaping. New buildings included a library, a fine arts center, numerous classroom buildings, an administration building, a student health center, a student union building, a stadium, a physical education building, a 23,000-seat activities center, and five student housing complexes.61
Of the more than 200 buildings erected on campus, the most important to students was a new student center, constructed in the early 1960s. More than ten years earlier, Wilkinson had reallocated funds raised by students for the complex to cover the cost of a fieldhouse. He had then arranged for a ten-dollar per student increase in church appropriations to offset the imbalance. Early polls showed that students had hoped the proposed building would include a ballroom, theater, swimming pool, hobby center, car repair workshop, student lounges, and a meditation area. When asked their reaction to naming the building after Wilkinson, students replied in a university-wide survey that they preferred “Memorial Union,” in honor of BYU’s war dead. Other suggestions included “Cougar Union Building,” “The Commons,” “Peace Memorial Union,” and “Everyman’s Memorial.” In early 1965, after several years of delays, the $7 million project, two-thirds of which had been paid for by student building fees, approached completion. The six-story edifice housed a bookstore, cafeteria, two theaters, lounges, bowling alleys, student body and student newspaper offices, a barber shop, and games and hobbies centers. Still, a consensus regarding the building’s name had not been reached. Finally, during a Board of Trustees meeting shortly before dedication ceremonies, Wilkinson learned that church officials had decided to name the center after him (Board Minutes, 3 March 1965). Other buildings had been named after living trustees, and David O. McKay had personally presided over the dedicatory services of a large classroom building named in his honor in 1954. However, some students were incensed. One asked pointedly in a letter to the student newspaper, “If it is genuinely a student building, should we not at least have the right to decide what it shall be called?” Schools officials refused to budge, and Wilkinson later sat for a larger-than-life portrait to adorn the walls of one of the new student lounges.62
During a major administrative reorganization of the church school system in 1953, Wilkinson was appointed administrator (later chancellor) of all church schools, in addition to his responsibilities as BYU president. As administrator, he worked to establish a network of junior colleges throughout the church where Mormon students could enroll for the first two years of their education before applying to BYU. In 1954, Utah governor J. Bracken Lee agreed to ask the state legislature to transfer ownership of three junior colleges back to the church. But a referendum subsequently forced a popular vote on the issue. [p. 31] Concerned over the hostility engendered by the referendum, President McKay avoided a public endorsement of the proposed transfer. After a hotly contested campaign, Utah’s electorate defeated the bill. Frustrated with what he viewed as an unnecessary setback, Wilkinson continued to champion the establishment of his feeder colleges, ultimately arranging for the purchase of some ten large tracts of land throughout the western United States. He also lobbied during this time with church leaders to transfer Ricks Junior College from Rexburg to Idaho Falls, where, he believed, the school would profit from the area’s future educational needs. But after five reversals of board policy over the merits of the transfer, church officials finally ruled that Ricks would remain in Rexburg.63
Though supportive of Wilkinson’s proposals, some General Authorities began questioning the need for an expensive system of junior colleges, suggesting instead that LDS institutes of religion would more economically serve the church’s religious education needs. Sensitive to growing pressures for economy, the First Presidency ruled that construction on junior college sites would not begin until church reserves increased. During the delay, opposition to Wilkinson’s program coalesced, and Boyd K. Packer, assistant administrator of institutes and seminaries, called for a complete re-examination of the issue in early 1963. Following a series of executive sessions of the Board of Trustees in March, from which Wilkinson was excluded, trustees announced their decision not to “embark upon a program to build junior colleges at this time” (Ex. Com. Minutes, 3 July 1963). Despite Wilkinson’s protests, influential opponents continued their campaign against the program, and construction remained at a standstill. By the mid-1970s, most of the junior college properties had been sold at a substantial profit to the church.64
Discouraged over the defeat of his junior college program, Wilkinson began seriously entertaining the possibility of a bid for public office. Other BYU presidents had tested political waters, and Wilkinson had already emerged as a leading spokesperson for the conservative wing of Utah’s Republican party. Persuaded to run for the U.S. Senate, he resigned in early 1964 with the assurance of President McKay that, if he should lose, he would be welcome to reclaim his former posts. His campaign manager was given a paid leave from university employ to help with the election, and the offices of president and chancellor were divided between university officers Earl C. Crockett and Harvey L. Taylor. During the sometimes bitter campaign, Wilkinson managed to edge out Republican contender Sherman P. Lloyd in the primaries, but failed to oust incumbent Frank E. Moss during a Democratic sweep of the November finals. Wilkinson returned to BYU the following month but ranking trustees saw to it that Taylor remained chancellor [p. 32] (Board Minutes, 6 Jan. 1965). To soften his defeat, Wilkinson was granted an annual salary of $20,000, the largest of any university employee.65
With the death of President McKay in 1970, University of Utah administrator Neal A. Maxwell was named church commissioner of education over all schools, including BYU. Wilkinson correctly sensed a growing lack of support from church leaders, particularly from senior apostle Harold B. Lee. Too, he realized that his fragile health and age were seen as disadvantages by many. The seventy-year-old president reluctantly submitted a letter of resignation in mid-1970 and was released early the following year, but characteristically refused to retire from active service. He had hoped to play a significant role in the development of BYU’s proposed J. Reuben Clark Law School but school officials were uneasy about encouraging a major commitment from the domineering former president. Instead, they asked him to edit the university’s official centennial history. Completed in 1976, the massive four-volume compilation received mixed reviews. At the time of his death in April 1978, the indefatigable Wilkinson was supervising the writing of his biography, Ernest L. Wilkinson: Indian Advocate and University President.66
Dallin H. Oaks
President, August 1971 to August 1980
Following news of Wilkinson’s resignation in March 1971, Commissioner Maxwell publicly announced the formation of a four-man selection committee “to determine whom the Lord would have preside over this institution in the decade of the seventies.” Besides identifying candidates with the requisite religious and professional qualifications, search committee members were concerned that Wilkinson’s successor fully understand that he would report directly to Maxwell rather than to the Board of Trustees or First Presidency–a significant departure from protocol during Wilkinson’s era. Toward the end of March, the committee presented its recommendation to the First Presidency. On 4 May, less than two months after Wilkinson’s resignation, trustees welcomed University of Chicago law professor Dallin H. Oaks as eighth president of BYU. To the group of some fourteen trustees, Oaks pledged “to be loyal to the leaders of the church.” “We have sought for you,” replied First Counselor Harold B. Lee, “and we feel you are the answer to our prayers.” Later, the thirty-eight-year-old Oaks, speaking to BYU students and faculty, quipped, “I feel like a freshman again.”67
The first of three children, Oaks was born in Provo and raised by his mother, after his father, an opthalmologist, died of tuberculosis when Oaks was eight years old. His mother subsequently earned a [p. 33] master’s degree from Columbia University and became an administrator in the Provo City School District. Although deeply affected by his father’s death, Oaks became an outgoing and natural leader. He was not, his sister remembered, “one of these serious sorts, … [but] managed to get into his share of mischief.” He worked part-time at a Provo radio station and later joined the Utah National Guard. He married June Dixon during his junior year at BYU and graduated with honors in accounting. He then enrolled at the University of Chicago Law School on a three-year, full-tuition National Honor Scholarship. During his senior year at Chicago, he was appointed editor of the school’s law review. He graduated cum laude in 1957, clerked for U.S. Supreme Court justice Earl Warren until 1958, and entered private practice in Chicago, specializing in corporate litigation. Three years later, he joined the University of Chicago law school faculty. Oaks also served as a local church leader and was a member of the founding editorial board of Dialogue magazine, an independent Mormon journal. In 1969, he was appointed chair of the University of Chicago’s disciplinary committee which conducted hearings into the cases of some 160 student protestors, eventually suspending or expelling more than 100. The following year, Oaks became executive director of the American Bar Foundation, the research arm of the American Bar Association. During his years at Chicago, Oaks emerged as a vocal advocate of stricter criminal laws. He opposed the exclusionary rule, which disallowed evidence obtained in the course of illegal searches and seizures, and favored prosecution in many so-called “victimless crimes.”68
Unlike Wilkinson, Oaks proved to be a sophisticated administrator with strong intellectual interests, committed to scholastic excellence and academic freedom. During his nine-year tenure, he co-authored, with BYU history professor Marvin Hill, Carthage Conspiracy: The Trial of the Accused Assassins of Joseph Smith (University of Illinois, 1975), awarded the Mormon History Association’s Best Book prize for 1976. Oaks was also one of eleven candidates for a U.S. Supreme Court vacancy in 1975. Although he had little patience with intentional offenders of university standards, including dress and grooming rules, Oaks announced to student body officers shortly after arriving on campus, “The less university discipline, the better. . . . I believe rules ought to be obeyed, but I don’t want to be a pecuniarian.” He thereafter delegated much of the enforcement of the school’s rules to the dean of students. As president, he was concerned that he not become a rigid, stuffy bureaucrat. For example, when BYU’s dean of social sciences turned down Oaks’s invitation to join him in the President’s Box for an important football game, Oaks responded, “I not only understand the reasons for your declining–I am jealous. Given a choice between companioning with the limpwristed, white-shoe [p. 34] crowd in the President’s Box and the burly, cursing, uninhibited herd in the stands, I would choose the latter” (Oaks to Hickman). Oaks became a popular president, and such remarks in the wake of Wilkinson’s largely humorless administration created a breath of fresh air for many faculty and students.69
As an advocate of higher academic standards, Oaks could be both demanding and unequivocal. “We are first a university,” he reminded members of the faculty upon his arrival in 1971. “Rigorous standards in any intellectual discipline are not at odds with faith and devotion, unless we make it so by a dogmatic certitude.” “We cannot use success in attaining our spiritual goals . . . as an alibi for failure to enjoy first-class status as a university,” he added at his November inauguration. “We must reinforce our drive for excellence in all areas of the university, . . . providing our students with intellectual experiences as challenging as they could receive anywhere.” “Education is not an easy enterprise,” he later echoed. “We need to be dissatisfied in order to be receptive to learning.” “[And] let us banish forever the illusion,” he reminded students, “that Brigham Young University exists for any purpose other than to provide a university education.”70
Where Wilkinson had been “preoccupied with size, expansion, and centralization,” Oaks “wanted quality, consolidation, and refinement,” reported Vice-President Thomas. During Oaks’s tenure, church officials reaffirmed their desire that “college age students remain at home, wherever possible, during their freshman and sophomore years” (Board Minutes, 6 Dec. 1972). Enrollments consequently grew 20 percent during his tenure, a minor increase compared to that of previous decades; the average class size stabilized at thirty-four students. However, library holdings doubled to nearly 2 million, and the number of faculty holding Ph.D.s increased 22 percent. The number of buildings constructed decreased from an average of eleven per year during Wilkinson’s twenty years to eight per year under Oaks. Oaks encouraged faculty governance in academics and approved the election by faculty of representatives to the Faculty Advisory Council, modifying Wilkinson’s policy of administrative appointments. BYU’s first policies governing tenure and retirement were also formulated under Oaks. In addition, a three-tiered system of general education examinations, requiring competence in basic skills, was established for all undergraduates. By 1976, the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges could report, “There is ample evidence of the great progress that has been made [since the generally negative evaluation of the 1966 accreditation committee]…. Much credit must be given to the new leadership of the institution and the creativity of the staff.”71
Church appropriations during Oaks’s administration remained approximately one-third of university income, rising from $19.5 to [p. 35] $76 million. Over the same period, expenditures climbed from $60 to $230 million, with more than $140 million per year going to salaries, wages, and benefits alone. To supplement church appropriations, school officials adopted a long-range program of gradually increasing tuition to levels nearing 40 percent or more of the total operating cost per student. Concerned with high employee turnover, the First Presidency commissioned an independent study of Church Educational System salaries in 1976. Church authorities soon learned that BYU salaries lagged behind those offered at other Rocky Mountain and west coast colleges and universities by an average of more than $1,000 per faculty rank. As a result, long overdue periodic salary adjustments were authorized beginning in 1976. Some faculty received increases of more than $5,000; women employees, long victims of discriminatory salary policies, reported the greatest increases. Additional adjustments followed, and the impact of the windfall increases became readily apparent. Oaks wrote to First Counselor N. Eldon Tanner, “I have never received more expressions of thanks than have cascaded through my office in the past two weeks.”72
For many faculty, however, the adjustments were insufficient. A university-sponsored “economic survey of full-time BYU employees” in late 1979 found that the “real income received by BYU employees [over the past seven years] declined 8 percent” and “would have been much higher but for the extraordinary [salary] increases.” Many of the wives of male faculty reported that they had sought employment to supplement their husbands’ income; at the time of the survey, 40 percent held jobs just to “keep up with inflation.” Although salary discrepancies between BYU and other western universities had narrowed, BYU salaries remained more than $600 behind the average and still more than $1,000 behind those offered at the state-run University of Utah. The problem, administrators reported, was no longer internal equity, but “external relationships and competitiveness.” “The university,” Oaks lamented to church commissioner of education Jeffrey R. Holland, “is beginning to lose personnel at a more rapid rate in some of the technical occupations. All too frequently, those who are leaving are among our most qualified personnel in their fields. Also,” he added, “we are experiencing increasing difficulty in hiring suitable replacements at the salaries we can offer.” Although BYU salaries have since risen at an annual rate of 9 percent (more in the areas of law, business, and engineering), they still remain in the bottom third of colleges and universities nationally.73
In 1971, when church and university fund raising agencies became consolidated, development initiatives blossomed, and annual averages of $11.2 million eventually buttressed school income. Indeed, 1978-79 fund raising efforts brought in more than $19 million, “the largest amount received in any [previous] year.” (Typically, one-third of all [p. 36] gifts is received as cash; another third as real property or gifts in kind; and the final third as deferred gifts.) An important decision made in the mid-1960s in terms of the school’s development needs was to offer to name campus buildings in honor of donors of at least $500,000 (Board Minutes, 3 May, 6 Sept. 1967, 4 Sept. 1968, 4 Sept. 1969). In excess of $20 million has since been raised through this approach, aiding in the construction of such buildings as the J. Willard Marriott Activities Center, the W. W. Clyde Engineering Sciences and Technology Building, the Monte L. Bean Life Sciences Museum, the Caroline Hemenway Harman Continuing Education Building, the Leo Ellsworth Meat and Livestock Center, and portions of the $12 million N. Eldon Tanner Building, the first campus building constructed entirely from private donations.74
Midway into Oaks’s administration, BYU celebrated its one hundredth anniversary, an impressive, year-long gala intended as much for alumni and donors as for students and faculty. Events included the opening of a time capsule, plays, special symposia and lectures, construction of an imposing carillon bell tower north of the administration building, and construction of two centennial sculptures–the twenty-ton “Tree of Wisdom,” which students christened “Dallin’s Oak,” and the thirty-foot steel and stained glass “Windows of Heaven.” The school’s official centennial stage production, Brigham, opened to unenthusiastic reviews, while a group of students calling themselves the People’s Centennial Coalition plastered the campus with 4,000 banned student government centennial bumper stickers that had been rejected by administrators because they lacked the official centennial emblem, a block Y topped by a cluster of twenty dots. Elsewhere, the emblem was prominently displayed on centennial booster flags. Ironically, university officials also sold the school’s old Academy Block on lower campus during the centennial year. The historic buildings were purchased first by private investors for use as a shopping center and later resold for use as a cultural center and office complex.75
One of the most significant developments during Oaks’s nine years, reflecting trends nationally, was a heightened sensitivity towards the role of women. Prompted in part by the passage in 1972 of the federal Education Amendments Act, which prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex in programs receiving federal financial assistance, BYU officials began re-examining school policies affecting women. Where necessary, prior policies were rescinded, especially in the areas of hiring, compensating, and retaining women (Board Minutes, 2 Feb. 1972, 6 June 1973). The school’s Administrative Advisory Council reported that nearly one-fourth of all women employees believed they had been discriminated against on the basis of gender. Over the next three years, administrators responded by initiating affirmative action policies to hire a greater number of women, successfully equalizing [p. 37] the salaries of the school’s men and women employees. Oaks established an ad hoc Advisory Committee on Women’s Affairs to investigate complaints of discrimination and to examine textbooks for sexist biases. One of the committee’s first accomplishments was the elimination in 1975 of all sex-related restrictions on church-sponsored scholarships, particularly the church president’s scholarship. Administrators also cleared discussions of women’s issues for university-wide assemblies and lifted curfews at women’s dormitories.76
In mid-1975, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) published a list of detailed guidelines governing the implementation of Title IX of the Education Amendments Act. BYU officials had anticipated many of the proposed regulations, but some proved considerably more comprehensive than expected. Alarmed that the guidelines could undermine BYU’s independence in establishing rules of student morality, dress and grooming, housing, and athletic competition, Oaks announced that the university would not comply with six of the department’s guidelines. At risk were all federally funded faculty research contracts and federal loans to students, together totalling some $15 million annually. Oaks’s defiance proved popular among many BYU supporters, including the 1976 Accreditation Committee. Despite reassurances from HEW officials that their regulations specifically exempted “an institution from complying with any provision . . . in conflict with the religious tenets of the church sponsoring the institution,” Oaks remained combative. “Religious liberty will of course permit us to resist this madness,” he told the faculty, “but other institutions will not be so fortunate” (Second Century). The theme became a favorite of the feisty BYU president. Less than four years after the initial confrontation, HEW officials notified BYU that they accepted the university’s modified version of their guidelines, thus defusing the possibility of protracted litigation (Board Minutes, 5 Sept. 1979).77
Oaks’s initial willingness to redress past inequities based on sex, a reflection of his sensitivity to changing social conditions, stood in sharp contrast to a history of chauvinistic policies at BYU, which again reflected their own times. During his seventeen years in Provo, BYA principal Karl Maeser allowed women on the faculty to teach only needlework, cooking, and music. At the turn of the century, academy orators earnestly debated the resolution “that woman’s intellect is inferior to man’s” (WB, 1 April 1904). For early twentieth century BYU coeds, college was “a sort of religious duty, a preparation for the exaltation of motherhood” (Collier’s, 30 July 1910). Not until George Brimhall’s administration, when Alice Louise Reynolds was appointed professor of English literature in 1911, was a woman allowed to teach outside the domestic arts (Lyman). While some students condemned the existence of “much discrimination against [p. 38] the girls” in the 1920s (YN, 23 Jan. 1924), a recurring theme at university devotionals during the 1930s and 1940s was “the preparation of the `gentler sex’ for a life of home making.” And in the early 1950s, one of the school’s fraternities sponsored a Christmas social where club members had their pictures taken with their dates wearing dog collars and leashes. “Women in their true place,” the fraternity’s historian explained, “on their knees!”78
In 1953, BYU’s Associated Women Students first sponsored what would become the school’s annual Women’s Week. Setting the tone for many future festivals, the highlight of the 1953 spectacular, “Eve Through the Eons,” was a fashion show. Subsequent Women’s Weeks spotlighted seminars on “necessary hints to trap that special guy” and “How to Keep Busy While Your Husband Is Away.” Dances, arts and crafts workshops, home decorating, cooking, and courses in poise were other favorite themes. One guest speaker reminded coeds: “There is nothing as important you can be involved in as supporting your husband in whatever it is he is called to do” (Cannon). Another told students that day care centers violated church teachings on the role of “parents, especially mothers” (Tuttle). When one ambitious coed ran for student body president in 1960, male students and faculty publicly questioned the propriety of her bid because she did not hold the priesthood, a privilege routinely bestowed on worthy Mormon males. President McKay suggested to Ernest Wilkinson in 1959 that BYU not engage women “of child bearing age, [or] . . . even after that time;” and, over a decade later, the Board of Trustees adopted a policy of not hiring mothers with small children and of replacing “where possible working mothers that are presently employed” (Board Minutes, 2 June 1971). “The educational goals of women at BYU,” explained psychology professor Allen Bergin in 1973, “are to be a better mother and to keep a husband. . . . A minority want a career.”79
Following the initial wave of HEW regulations in 1975, President Oaks appointed Marilyn Arnold, associate professor of English, as a special presidential assistant over women’s issues. A self-described “administrative conscience,” Arnold helped produce a hard-hitting faculty skit dramatizing “sexism in the classroom;” condemned sexist sentiments in religion texts; backed the creation of classes concentrating on the accomplishments of women; encouraged the appointment of several women to administrative positions; and helped arrange for the singing of the national anthem at athletic events by women. (Hitherto, only men had been allowed to perform.). Oaks’s Advisory Committee on Women’s Affairs (renamed the Women’s Research Institute in 1978) continued to keep BYU and church authorities informed of developments in the women’s movement, as well as anticipating potential legal problems at the university involving women. It also [p. 39] sponsored several “Women in Science” conferences designed to stimulate interest among coeds in science-related careers. Female enrollments subsequently increased in such fields as building construction technology, business and public administration, electrical engineering, and law. As a result of Oaks’s encouragement, employment opportunities on campus opened in areas traditionally closed to women, including positions with BYU security and religious education. In addition, less than two years after surviving a student referendum to eliminate the ASBYU Women’s Office (which had replaced Associated Women Students in 1969), Women’s Office representatives began sponsoring lectures by professional LDS women, including Grethe Ballif Peterson, chair of the Utah Endowment for the Humanities; Anne G. Osborn, a neuro-radiologist at the University of Utah Medical School; and Florida congresswoman Paula S. Hawkins. In related areas, other university guest lecturers included Martha Peterson, president of Beloit College; Sherry Manning, president of Colorado Women’s College; and Sandra Day O’Connor, the first female U.S. Supreme Court justice.80
Much of the momentum that followed Oaks’s push for an increased awareness of women’s issues fell victim to post-1977 interpretations of church statements regarding the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and renewed emphasis on marriage and family values. When twenty-eight national academic organizations announced that they would not hold meetings in states that had not ratified the ERA, Oaks termed the pressure “a repressive tactic” (DU, 2 May 1978). Within the month, however, church officials announced that they supported a one-day nation-wide boycott of television to protest an alleged increase in the media of objectionable programming (DU, 25 May 1978). Despite efforts to curtail divisive anti-ERA drives on campus, anti-ERA literature and ultra-feminine propaganda found their way into some BYU classrooms and campus church meetings. Criticisms of Women’s Week surfaced, and by 1984, control of Women’s Week had been assumed by BYU administrators. University officials also transferred the Women’s Research Institute from its position within the administration to the College of Family, Home and Social Sciences. Yet classes treating the women’s movement remained in course catalogs; and, in late 1984, Women’s Week hosted a week-long conference on “Women in Business.” Also in 1984, the president of the church’s young women’s programs joined the Relief Society president as a member of the Board of Trustees, bringing the number of female trustees to two of fifteen.81
While the status of women at BYU improved during Oaks’s years, especially in comparison to Wilkinson’s twenty-year tenure, the net results of the university’s affirmative action programs were less than expected. In 1975, for example, 13 percent of BYU faculty were women; among faculty holding the rank of full professor, men [p. 40] outnumbered women thirty-six to one. Three years later, with no significant change in faculty composition, the number of female full professors had decreased nearly 20 percent. By the mid-1980s, BYU lagged 7 percent behind all other Utah colleges and universities, and 5 percent behind universities across the nation, in terms of the number of women employed. Administrators have acknowledged that in some instances the school’s affirmative action policies have been “simply ignored” (Holland). While the number of men and women students has equalized since the 1950s, the dropout rate among women has remained at approximately 60 percent, compared to 20 percent among men. In addition, BYU coeds are more likely to major in traditional female occupations than elsewhere and are underrepresented in areas where the employment outlook is most favorable.82
After more than six years in office, Oaks wrote to the First Presidency that he feared he had begun to “lose some ground in his objectivity, creativity, and freshness.” He worried that he was becoming “self-satisfied, stale, and closed to new ideas,” and that “his fellow workers in the university [had already begun to] sense this.” Stressing that he was neither resigning nor asking for a release, he suggested that the university establish a policy of regular turnover for the president, six to seven years being the “optimum period of service.” Privately, Oaks also resented the school’s stifling bureaucracy, felt “put upon” by some trustees lending their “ecclesiastical weight” to fund-raising drives at the University of Utah, and was increasingly disturbed by the demands of politically conservative Church authorities regarding BYU’s life sciences and economics curricula (see Chapters 4 and 5). The First Presidency tabled Oaks’s proposal more than two years before the board unexpectedly decided to release him. Word of the decision was leaked to the news media. A surprised and emotional Oaks, who had not previously been alerted to the board’s intent, called a special faculty meeting to confirm the board’s decision. He emphasized that he had not resigned and admitted that he had no definite plans for the future. Oaks officially stepped down in August 1980 after serving nine years as president. Three months later, he was appointed to the Utah Supreme Court, a position he no doubt found more professionally fulfilling. Then in April 1984 the fifty-two-year-old justice was called to fill a vacancy in the church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.83
Jeffrey R. Holland
President, September 1980 to 1989
Immediately following the move to release Oaks, university trustees again appointed a nominating and search committee to find a successor. Less than forty-eight hours later, the First Presidency, [p. 41] acting as officers of the Board of Trustees, appointed thirty-nine-year-old church commissioner of education Jeffrey R. Holland as ninth president of BYU. Holland had been a protege of Elder Gordon B. Hinckley, chair of the board’s executive committee, and was the personal favorite of First Counselor N. Eldon Tanner. As commissioner of education, Holland had been asked to compile a list of possible candidates for the search committee to consider but was then notified of the surprise decision. Rumors soon surfaced on campus that the change had been politically motivated. Known for his humor, Holland quipped several months later that the transition struck him “more as a good solid one-act piece prepared for [a church] drama festival than the re-creation of Macbeth for the Royal Albert Hall. . . . The suddenness of the action,” he explained, “is the way the brethren work, and the awkwardness of the news leak is the way the media work” (DU, 4 Sept. 1980).84
Confident and affable, Holland settled easily into his new position; he had been Oaks’s superior and was well acquainted with the responsibilities of the president. Most faculty found him reasonable and reported that he did not “take himself too seriously.” Holland described himself as “orthodox, but not heavy-handed.” Raised in southern Utah’s St. George, Holland had been a good natured and popular youth–”always in the fast lane, but never out of line,” friends remembered (SEP, 28 Sept. 1982). When Patricia Terry first met her future spouse, then a high school athlete, she confided to a cousin, “I just met the smartest boy in the school. He’s also the cockiest and most obnoxious. Though I can’t stand him now, I feel very strongly when I’m older I’ll marry him” (DU, 8 Feb. 1982). Following a mission to England and marriage to Patricia, Holland enrolled at BYU to study English and religious education. He subsequently taught in the church’s institute program in California, Washington, and Connecticut. While in Connecticut, he earned a Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University. He then transferred to a teaching position at the institute of religion adjacent to the University of Utah and was named director of the church’s Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association. In 1971, he was recruited as dean of religious instruction at BYU, a move many colleagues saw as evidence that he was “being groomed for other things” (SEP, 28 Sept. 1982). While at BYU, Holland developed a reputation as a likable, pragmatic administrator and advocate of “practical religion.” Five years later, he was called as commissioner of education, replacing Neal Maxwell, who had been named a member of the church’s First Council of Seventy. It was thus in his capacity as commissioner that Holland, a loyal, seasoned, and ambitious career church educator was called again to BYU in 1980.85
“No one misses Dallin Oaks more than I,” Holland confessed during his first address to the faculty, adding that “the marvelous [p. 42] precedent set by President Oaks is certainly going to be perpetuated by me” (“Bond of Charity”). A self-dubbed “administrative cheerleader,” Holland told faculty that “a fine testimony is not going to suffice at this university for poor scholarship” (DU, 31 Aug. 1984; “Bond of Charity”). But at his inauguration, he described “the ideal university” as a “pastoral, nurturing institution where those older and wiser cautiously lead out into deep water, stroking briskly enough to strengthen, but never too far away to extend the always firm hand of faith if fear strikes the floundering freshman” (DU, 17 Nov. 1980). Religious truths, Holland has stressed, are to be completely integrated in the university’s curriculum. “I want us to be value laden and moral,” he announced to faculty in September 1981. “I want us [to be] a veritable rod of iron in what is too often a dark and misty academic world” (Church News). For Holland, an “incurable, unrequited, fatally afflicted romantic,” his role has been to see BYU become “a center of learning for the Kingdom [of God] that is as spectacular in its scholarship as it is firm in its faith and powerful in its priesthood” (BYU Today, Dec. 1981, Dec. 1980).86
Even before his official arrival in Provo, Holland had announced a sweeping reorganization of BYU’s administrative hierarchy. The number of vice-presidents was reduced to four, while the number of associate and assistant vice-presidents over academics was increased. “The administration building is the last place I expected to be,” quipped chemistry professor Elliott Butler. “This isn’t the kind of building I’m used to. It smells rather insipid compared to the Eyring Science Center. But when I saw the courage of what Jeff had in mind to do, I couldn’t turn him down.” (SEP, 28 Sept. 1982.) Holland had intended to place less emphasis on campus expansion, more on upgrading existing programs and building bridges to the faculty. Soon, however, he found himself forewarning faculty members that “the very nature of the president’s job inveighs against [unrestricted] accessibility,” and asked that problems be first brought up with subordinates (“Bond of Charity”). Sensitive to accusations that he was isolating himself from faculty and students, Holland later explained, “I do not want to come across as remote or uninvolved. On the other hand I think [many people] think everything should end up in my office as a ‘hot’ item. I think that is a trap Dallin fell into–or encountered–and it led to some . . . slightly confrontational matters. . . . In the spirit of delegation and shared responsibility,” he continued, “I’m anxious to dispel that confrontational, ‘investigative’ mistrust” (Holland to Kerr). One of the new president’s assistants added that where “President Wilkinson wanted to have the last say in everything and got bogged down, President Holland says, ‘That’s your responsibility. Run with it’” (SEP, 28 Sept. 1982).87
[p.43] Financially, expenditures leveled off during Holland’s administration to an annual growth rate of 20 percent and yearly expenditures of approximately $500 million in the mid-1980s. Church appropriations continued to remain at one-third of all revenues. To supplement the school’s income, Holland launched a five-year $100 million “Excellence in the Eighties” fund-raising drive in 1982, of which $55 million was earmarked for academic programs, $25 million for faculty salaries, $15 million for student scholarships, and $5 million for extension programs. Holland also supervised construction of a state-of-the-art engineering technology building but predicted that fewer than ten additional buildings would be erected during his tenure. The emphasis of his administration, he repeatedly stressed, would be on employing better qualified faculty and purchasing library and research materials. Currently, BYU occupies some 500 acres, 15 percent of which is covered by buildings. The net worth of the university’s physical plant approaches $400 million. Although construction of new buildings has decreased, the school has begun renovating several of its older edifices, including the Heber J. Grant Library and Karl G. Maeser Memorial.88
Whereas national projections indicate that the number of college-age Americans will decline by over 5 million during the next two decades (a decrease of 21 percent), the number of LDS eighteen-year-olds is projected to increase some 40 percent during the same period. Since BYU “cannot accommodate increased growth without significant additional expense,” trustees have planned “to limit the BYU experience, understanding that an ever-increasing number of qualified applicants will have to be turned away.” Besides encouraging graduating high school seniors to enroll at colleges close to their homes, BYU administrators have also introduced a revamped admissions policy, focusing on an applicant’s overall academic preparation, particularly the difficulty of classes taken rather than grades earned. But the policy also permits some “administrative admits to allow discretionary action outside the normal criteria and outside the stewardship of the admissions committee.” School officials anticipate that by “the year 1995, extreme pressures will be felt from families desiring to enroll their sons and daughters at BYU–especially if there is a continuation of the current trend of lowering moral standards at various colleges and universities throughout the nation” (Board Minutes, 7 May 1980). Determining equitable admissions policies that satisfy both the demands of parents and the need for fiscal restraint constitutes what Elder Boyd K. Packer has termed “perhaps the most monumental problem that has confronted us in my 20 years on the board.” One solution may be to stabilize or even reduce tuition at other church colleges and to encourage students to remain closer to home rather than to attend BYU. A second, less likely alternative would be to increase enrollment.89
[p. 44] Another challenge facing school officials is the number of non-LDS faculty BYU can employ without affecting the religious emphasis of the school’s curriculum. Currently, less than 2 percent of the faculty are non-Mormon–one half the percentage of non-LDS students. But pressures from outside accrediting agencies, especially in law and psychology, have sensitized BYU officials to the desirability of maintaining at least a handful of non-Mormons on the faculty, if only as visiting professors. And in some instances, nearly one-third of applicants for faculty positions have been non-LDS. School administrators have also been reluctant to employ or retain divorced or unmarried Mormon faculty for tenured positions. Because faculty serve as role models for many students, officials have sometimes emphasized more than academic credentials in hiring new faculty. For this reason, perhaps, Holland recently alluded to the possibility of annual interviews for all university employees “by ecclesiastical leaders outside the institution to verify employee worthiness,” paralleling a recent requirement for continuing students (see Holland). With the number of faculty reaching retirement expected to rise significantly during the next twenty years, the academic and religious demands made of prospective faculty could become increasingly difficult to satisfy.90
At the base of every major dilemma facing BYU is the recurring challenge of maintaining a curriculum that combines the insights of religion with those of secular instruction. The 1976 Accreditation Committee reminded school and church leaders:
Freedom of inquiry is an essential aspect of all education, and institutions of higher learning have a special commitment to it. The private, church-related institution very often bears the burden of Caesar’s wife and must be scrupulous in the defense and advocacy of open and free inquiry. . . . Some members of the [BYU] faculty appear to have genuine problems of conscience in attempting to determine valid matters of research, writing, and discussion ["e.g., human population problems, birth control, behavioral patterns of humans, and other topics of natural science and social science"] within the context of church doctrine. There is much uncertainty in some quarters and a real hesitancy to even broach the subject. . . . If the president wishes to develop . . . a “great university,” freedom to investigate and discuss ideas should be jealously protected and administrators prohibited from imposing any infringement on academic freedom.
And in what may be the frankest summation yet expressed of BYU’s predicament, Dallin Oaks thoughtfully noted in his valedictory address to the faculty in 1980:
A scholar who pursues the tenets of his scholarly field while also seeking the illumination of divine revelation must sometime [p. 45] demonstrate which system will be given primacy if conflicts arise. Such conflicts do not arise when faith and reason are compartmentalized, after the fashion of the metaphoric “wall between church and state, high and impregnable.” . . . [But the] difficulty [here] is found in the significant risk that our efforts to end the separation between scientific scholarship and religion will merely produce a sub-standard level of performance, where religion dilutes scholarship instead of enlightening it, or where scholarship replaces religion instead of extending its impact. By this means an attempt to mingle reason and faith could result in irrational scholarship or phony religion, either condition demonstrably worse than the present separation. . . . A genuine mingling of the insights of reason and revelation is infinitely . . . difficult.91
1. W. Vance Grant and Thomas D. Snyder, Digest of Education Statistics, 1983-1984 (Washington, D.C.: National Center for Education Statistics, 1983), pp. 88-89. In terms of full-time students, BYU currently ranks as the largest private university in the United States. “Founder’s Day Exercises,” Daily Enquirer, 16 Oct. 1896; BYU 1:32-66, 99-100; Keith L. Smith, “A History of the Brigham Young University: The Early Years, 1875-1921,” Ph.D. diss., BYU, 1972, p. 127 (cf. BYU 1:47). Although early Mormons were anxious to have their children educated, few were qualified to teach (see Chapter 9).
3. Young to Young, 19 Oct. 1876, in Dean C. Jesse, ed., Letters of Brigham Young to His Sons (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1974), p. 199 (cf. Ralph V. Chamberlin, Memories of John R. Park [Salt Lake City: University of Utah Alumni Association, 1949], pp. 155-56). The first public schools made their appearance on a county basis in the territory in the 1860s (Frederick S. Buchanan, “Education Among the Mormons: Brigham Young and the Schools of Utah,” History of Education Quarterly, Winter 1982, p. 440). “1875 Deed of Trust of Brigham Young Academy” and “1877 Deed of Trust of Brigham Young Academy,” in BYU 1:523-28.
4. Bernard J. Kohlbrenner, “Religion and Higher Education: An Historical Perspective,” History of Education Quarterly, June 1961, pp. 52-55 (Darwinian biologist Thomas Huxley was the first speaker at Johns Hopkins); Joseph P. O’Grady, “Control of Church-Related Institutions of Higher Learning,” Journal of Higher Education, Feb. 1969, pp. 110-13. The University of Pennsylvania was founded in the eighteenth century without religious ties, and by the nineteenth century, Georgetown University–originally a conservative Catholic seminary–was controlled by Jesuits; the first state institutions (e.g., University of Georgia and University of Virginia) were secular. John S. Brubacher and Willis Rudy, Higher Education in Transition (New York: Harper and Row, 1976), p. 311; Richard Hofstadter, Anti-Intellectualism in American Life (New York: Vintage Books, 1962), p. 324. David Riesman, in “The Evangelical Colleges: Untouched by the Academic Revolution,” Change, Jan./Feb. 1981, pp. 13-20, aptly described those universities resisting secularism–Brigham Young, Oral Roberts, Loma Linda, and Wake Forest, for example–as “safe half-way houses” between home and the surrounding culture.
6. “Church Dignitaries Speak,” YN, 26 Jan. 1940; Clark, “Charge to President Howard S. McDonald,” 14 Nov. 1945, in MFP 6:234; “Purpose in Founding,” March 1950, UA 96, BYUA; Wilkinson, Tribute to Christen Jensen, June 1949, in BYU 2:476.
8. “Potential Unlimited,” DU, 4 Sept. 1980; “Holland Takes Y Helm,” DU, 17 Nov. 1980; Kimball earlier remarked to BYU faculty that the university had been “organized by the Lord God” (“Education for Eternity,” 12 Sept. 1969, BYUA). Petersen, “Faculty Meeting Devotional,” 23 Sept. 1958, BYUA. For other references to BYU as the “Lord’s University,” see George Q. Morris, “Church Doctrine,” 11 Jan. 1955, in Speeches, 1954-55, p. 156, who termed it “the University of the Kingdom of God,” and Beginning BYU, published by student government officials in 1974, which referred to BYU as the “Universitas Dei.”
Further indicative of statements regarding the purpose of BYU, the General Church Board of Education stipulated in 1940 that all church schools, including BYU, should “help establish in students the testimony of the truth of the divine work established through the instrumentality of Joseph Smith;” serve as a research arm for the church; and finally train students for their vocations and professions (“The Administrative Code of the General Board of Education, 1940,” UA 96). Eleven years later, Apostle Spencer W. Kimball noted that BYU students enjoy “the privilege not only of following the regular academic subjects, but [of] learn[ing] how eventually to exalt [themselves] and to … become Gods” (Kimball, in BYU 4:393). Church president David O. McKay added that “the purpose of Brigham Young University is to develop character, for character is higher than intellect” (“The Purpose and Mission of BYU,” DU, 7 May 1953). Responding to accusations that BYU limits academic freedom, Apostle Marion G. Romney countered four years later that “the spiritually reborn do not have their academic freedom restricted, but greatly extended at the Brigham Young University” (“Marion G. Romney Offers Key,” Church News, 8 June 1957). And church official Boyd K. Packer echoed in 1969 that BYU is “prejudiced, if you will, in favor of the gospel of Jesus Christ, [and] … is maintained as a forum for faith. It is perhaps a last citadel” (“A Dedication to Faith,” 29 April 1969), in Speeches, 1968-69, p. 4). More recently, former BYU president Dallin Oaks reported that “one of the most distinctive characteristics of Brigham Young University is our proud affirmation that character and morality are more important than learning” (“Work First, Then Play,” DU, 19 Sept. 1984).
Occasionally, less idealistically couched views of BYU’s purpose have surfaced. In the 1920s, for example, dean of the College of Education L. John Nuttall observed that the school “instills loyalty,” and BYU president Franklin Harris found that many faculty believed that BYU “keeps the intellectuals ‘lined up’ in the church” (BYU 2:220, 253-54). Thirty years later, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric Robert L. Simpson reported that “Brigham Young University stands as a showcase for Mormonism” (“Do Your Standards Show?” 19 Oct. 1965, in Speeches, 1965-66). Nine years earlier, first counselor in the First Presidency Stephen L Richards had concluded that the school “pays dividends [to the church] in missionaries [and] converts” (“BYU Termed Wise Investment,” DU, 29 Feb. 1956). But, suggested Bruce R. McConkie, a member of the church’s First Council of Seventy, in a 1955 address, “the chief benefit of coming to Brigham Young University is to lay the foundation of celestial [i.e., temple] marriage” (“Church Official Advises to Enter Temple Marriages,” DU, 16 Nov. 1955). Elder A. Theodore Tuttle agreed: “A part of the plan is to find a partner and marry. That is one reason I appreciate BYU and its great mission in this regard” (“What Is Relevant Versus What Is Current,” 21 Mar. 1972, in Speeches, 1971-1972). The following year, church president Spencer Kimball encouraged students to find marriage partners and “not wait to marry until they’ve finished their schooling” (“President Kimball Stresses Family,” DU, 1 Oct. 1973). Elvin Tanner, of BYU’s Personal Development Center, explained that “there is more pressure here to get married than other places, but it keeps [the students'] heads straight; keeps them from Women’s Lib and things like that” (“Senior Panic, A Joke,” DU, 21 April 1972). Typically, nearly one-half of BYU’s graduating class marries by graduation (see, for example, “Graduating Class Sets New Record,” Alumnus, June 1970).
12. Beatrice Mitchell, Oral History, 29 Sept. 1980, BYUA; Nels L. Nelson, Professor of English, to David O. McKay, 27 July 1919 and 10 Aug. 1919, McKay Papers, Church Archives; Maeser, School and Fireside (Provo: Skelton and Co., 1898), pp. 262-63; John C. Swensen, “Founder’s Day Speech,” 16 Oct. 1951, BYUA.
13. George Sutherland, BYA alumnus and U.S. Supreme Court Justice, A Message to the 1941 Graduating Class of Brigham Young University (BYU, 1941); James E. Talmage Journal, 7 July 1881, Talmage Papers, Archives and Manuscripts, BYU; Nelson to McKay; BYU 1:592.
14. Keifer B. Sauls, Oral History, 6 June 1979, p. 32, BYUA; Henry Dixon Taylor, Autobiography (Provo: BYU Press, 1980), pp. 49, 53-54; Eugene L. Roberts and Eldon Reed Cluff, “Benjamin Cluff, Jr., Scholar, Educational Administrator, and Employer,” 1947, p. 71, BYUA; Sutherland, A Message, pp. 3-4; Prospectus, 1876, p. 4; John C. Swensen, “Autobiography,” p. 27, UA 108; Robert Hinckley, “Robert Hinckley’s Garden of Eden: Faculty and Alumni Reunion,” 4 Aug. 1978, p. 3, BYUA. See also BYU 1:53, 60-61, 75, 108; 2:258.
15. Prospectus, 1876, pp. 1-2; “General Locals,” BYA Student, 3 Feb. 1891; Circular, 1878-79, p. 1; Hollis J. Scott, “Brief Synopsis of Academic Diplomas and Degrees at Brigham Young Academy,” BYUA; Circular, 1879-80, pp. 2-3. By 1889, BYA had been recognized as the church’s “official” normal school, and other Mormon academies began sending students interested in becoming teachers to Provo (see BYU 1:149).
16. Hatch, “History of BYU Campus,” 1:8, 10, 14; BYU 1:126-28, 133-34; Smith, “The Early Years,” pp. 83, 92 (the Lewis Building had only four rooms). BYA alumnus George Sutherland admitted, “It would gratify my sense of pride in the old school if I could tell you that the [Lewis] Building was a masterpiece in architecture. But candor compels a contrary statement.” The building was originally intended as a factory; the front entrances doubled as loading docks, offering a “perpendicular descent of some four feet to the ground.” According to Sutherland, this “alluring risk” made it all the more popular among students (Sutherland, A Message, p. 5). T. Earl Pardoe, Sons of Brigham (Provo: BYU Alumni Association, 1969), p. 4.
17. Hatch, “History of BYU Campus,” 1:18-23; 2:21; BYU 1:152-53; “Cumulative Enrollment of Daytime Students, Academic Years 1875-76 to 1944-45,” Brigham Young University Enrollment Resume (BYU Office of Institutional Research, 1978), p. 3. Abraham Smoot initially made his fortune leading wagon trains from the east to Salt Lake City and was assigned to settle in Provo by Brigham Young. After the 1893 financial crash, Smoot was forced to bring suit against several friends–including S. S. Jones, who had also endorsed notes to help finance the academy–to protect his bank. After Smoot’s death, the First Presidency assumed the debts Smoot had incurred in assisting the school (BYU 2:754-55; 1:57, 238-40).
19. BYU 1:211, 216, 303, 326 (see Mitchell, Oral History, p. 20). The Board of Trustees had “only reluctantly” allowed James Talmage to study at Johns Hopkins in the early 1880s, and Maeser had instructed the faculty to keep Talmage’s farewell “very quiet” so that other students would not conceive of the idea of following Talmage’s example (Talmage Journal, 16 June and 25 Aug. 1882; see also Chapter 9, as well as Dennis Rowley, “Inner Dialogue: James Talmage’s Choice of Science as a Career, 1876-84,” Dialogue, Summer 1984, pp. 124-27). Roberts and Cluff, “Benjamin Cluff,” pp. 76-78; John Dewey, The Theory of Education (BYA, 1901); William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience (New York: Mentor Books, 1958), p. 365.
20. BYU 1:261-67; Roberts and Cluff, “Benjamin Cluff,” p. 62; Circular, 1895-96, pp. 8-9; Circular, 1897-98, p. 18; Circular, 1900-01, pp. 20-21; Maeser to L. John Nuttall, Secretary to the First Presidency, 2 May 1894, Maeser Papers; BYU 1:228, 258-59. One of the first non-Mormon faculty was Christian Scientist, another was Jewish (see Harvey Fletcher, Oral History, 19 Sept. 1968, p. 74, BYUA). Maeser to Wilford Woodruff, 13 Aug. 1896, Maeser Papers; BYU 1:379 (cf. Smith, “The Early Years,” p. 140). The first Mormons to earn Ph.D.s in residence were John A. Widtsoe and Joseph F. Merrill, who received their diplomas in 1899; neither had attended BYA, however (Leonard J. Arrington and Davis Bitton, The Mormon Experience [New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1979], p. 381, n. 9.) Cluff to George H. Brimhall and Joseph B. Keeler, 30 Sept. 1893, Cluff Papers.
24. BYU 1:297, 303-06; D. Michael Quinn, “LDS Church Authority and New Plural Marriages, 1890-1904,” Dialogue, Spring 1985, pp. 69-70, 87. But cf. Margaret Cluff Edwards Parsons, “Florence Mary Reynolds Cluff,” in Cluff file, BYUA, who writes that the marriage took place in 1896. Journal History, 9 Aug. 1900, Church Archives. The 1890 Manifesto (Official Declaration 1 in current editions of the Doctrine and Covenants) was regarded at the time by many church members, including leading apostles, as a political document rather than an expression of divine will. Plural marriages continued to be performed after 1890. A second manifesto, released in 1904, along with the removal of Elders John W. Taylor and Matthias F. Cowley from the Quorum of Twelve Apostles–both of whom had taken plural wives after 1890–brought an end to church-sanctioned polygamous marriages. The best treatments of post-Manifesto plural marriage are Quinn, “New Plural Marriages,” pp. 9-105; Victor W. Jorgensen and B. Carmon Hardy, “The Taylor-Cowley Affair and the Watershed of Mormon History,” Utah Historical Quaterly, Winter 1980, pp. 4-35, and Kenneth L. Cannon II, “After the Manifesto: Mormon Polygamy, 1890-1906,” Sunstone, Jan./March 1983, pp. 27-35. Roberts and Cluff, “Benjamin Cluff,” pp. 129, 181.
25. Heber J. Grant Journal, 19 July 1900, Grant Papers, Church Archives; Joseph Fielding Smith, Life of Joseph F. Smith (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1969), p. 312; Journal History, 20 July 1900; Christian Olsen Diary, 12 Aug. 1900, BYUA.
27. Roberts and Cluff, “Benjamin Cluff,” p. 180; BYA Faculty Minutes, 17 May 1902 (cf. Journal History, 19 Nov. 1903); Margery W. Ward, A Life Divided: The Biography of Joseph Marion Tanner, 1859-1927 (Salt Lake City: Publishers Press, 1980), pp. 45-47.
28. BYU 1:329-75, 517-19; Anthon H. Lund Journal, 19 Sept. 1903, Lund Papers, Church Archives; “The Y News Presents,” YN, 13 April 1934.
29. BYU 2:3, 765; 4:447; George H. Hansen, Oral History, 19 Feb. 1980, p. 8, BYUA; Richard Van Wagoner and Steven L. Walker, A Book of Mormons (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1982), p. 28; BYU 1:511. One of the faculty, Eugene L. Roberts, commented on Brimhall’s “emotional response to many problems,” and opined that that could be a “real educational danger . . . in [such] powerful and colorful educators and ministers” (Roberts to Franklin S. Harris, 12 Dec. 1934, Harris Papers).
31. John T. Wahlquist, “BYU Reminiscences,” pp. 2-3, in N. L. Nelson file, BYUA. Bachelor of science degrees had been offered since the turn of the century. In 1906, the bachelor of pedagogy degree was replaced by the bachelor of arts degree, the only college-level degree available at BYU for several years. See Circular, 1900-01, pp. 20-21; Catalog, 1907-08, p. 29, cf., Scott, “Academic Diplomas and Degrees.” Quarterly, 1920-21, pp. 14, 23-24.
32. BYU 1:384, 407, 451, 507, 510. The Ladies’ Gymnasium was renamed the Women’s Gymnasium twenty years later (Hatch, “History of BYU Campus,” 3:22). BYU 4:530; Taylor, Autobiography, p. 51; BYU 1:443 (cf. financial information in Printed Material 34, BYUA, which notes BYU’s total indebtedness as $90,000); Dell Webb Resigns,” WB, 9 April 1919; “President Delivers Inaugural Address,” YN, 17 Oct. 1921; BYU 2:150. In addition to endowing the school $100,000, Jesse Knight contributed at least $47,000 in cash toward the construction of various buildings and deeded the school 500 acres on the far east side of the valley. For his generosity towards BYU, students affectionately referred to him as “Uncle Jesse.” Jesse William Knight, The Jesse Knight Family (Salt Lake City: The Deseret News Press, 1940), pp. 9-10, 33-47, 50, 68, 74, 88-92; “Uncle Jesse Knight,” WB, 16 March 1921. “Dedication of Temple Hill,” WB, 23 Jan. 1908; “Temple Hill,” DU, 31 March 1958. Another legend held that the edge of the plateau had been an Indian burial ground (“We, the Students,” YN, 26 Sept. 1941). Hatch, “History of BYU Campus,” 3:27, 39.
35. BYU 2:77-84, 159-63, 195-201, 370-75; “President Harris Is Made Delegate to Science Meet,” YN, Sept. 1935. Harris also ran unsuccessfully for the United States Senate in 1938, served as president of the Utah Valley Hospital, and negotiated the contribution from the Commonwealth Fund of New York City which made its construction possible.
36. “New Grant Library Will be Dedicated,” YN, 16 Oct. 1925; BYU 2:64, 140. One writer acknowledged the limits of the $125,000 Heber J. Grant Library with this observation: “The librarians and their assistants were friendly, making up for lack of books by a greater effort to locate material in available sources” (BYU 2:301). “Taylored Topics,” YN, 23 May 1930; BYU 2:231-37, 320; Hatch, “History of BYU Campus,” 6:26.
37. Hatch, “History of BYU Campus,” 4:26-27, 30-31; BYU 2:377-78; Keifer B. Sauls, Oral History, 10 Oct. 1978, p. 15, BYUA; “Cougar Eatery Provides Complete Snack Service,” DU 3 Feb. 1953; “The Little Acre,” DU, 2 Dec. 1948; Verdon Harwood, Oral History, 26 May 1981, BYUA; Howard S. McDonald, Oral History, 7 Aug. 1973, p. 15, BYUA.
38. BYU 3:335, 380; “Founder’s Day Observance Attracts Many,” YN, 20 Oct. 1939; “Chapel Bricks Reach Square,” YN, 26 Jan. 1940; “New Building Awaits Students,” YN, 26 Sept. 1941; “Y Will Have Own Sunday School,” YN, 26 Sept. 1941; “Chapel Chimes Will Be Gift,” YN, 16 Feb. 1940 (cf. “New Chimes to Ring in Science Center,” DU, 13 Jan. 1955); Anonymous to Editor, YN, 14 May 1947; “More Light and Less Heat,” DU, 11 July 1952; “Smith Auditorium Scene of Varied Program,” DU, 11 Nov. 1952; “Bowen to Commemorate Y’s Friday Jazz Festival,” DU, 5 Jan. 1962.
39. Kenneth G. Bell, “Adam Samuel Bennion: Superintendent of LDS Education, 1919-28,” M.R.E. thesis, BYU, 1969, pp. 84-85, 91; Royal Ruel Meservy, “A Historical Study of Changes in Policy of Higher Education in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” Ed.D. diss., UCLA, 1966, pp. 314-15, 327, 330, 332; Joseph F. Merrill to Wilkinson, 14 Nov. 1951, in Adam S. Bennion Papers, Archives and Manuscripts, BYU; BYU 2:85-91, n. 105.
40. Sauls, Oral History 1979, pp. 15, 45. One example of Harris’s approach to the board was establishing a presidential residence. When the board would not approve construction of a new house, Harris had the university purchase the Henderson House (originally the Henry Peterson home) on upper campus, renovated it so extensively that only one original wall was left standing, and then obtained permission to move in (Sauls, Oral History, 1979, p. 16). Keifer Sauls, in McDonald, Oral History, 37-38; James R. Clark to Jan Hansen, 3 Oct. 1973, BYUA. For examples of J. Reuben Clark’s repeated calls for fiscal conservatism, see Conference Reports, April 1948, p. 117, April 1949, p. 130, and April 1951, p. 13. “President Harris Accepts New Position at USAC,” YN, 30 Nov. 1944, cf. BYU 2:398, 414.
41. BYU 2:419-26, 480; Clark, in “Howard S. McDonald Accepts Charge of Duties,” YN, 15 Nov. 1945; Howard S. McDonald, Brief Autobiography (Author, 1969), pp. 35-38; salary information in Franklin L. West Papers, UA 536; “BYU President Receives Doctor’s Degree,” DU, 23 June 1949; “BYU President Resigns,” DU, 4 Oct. 1949.
42. McDonald, Oral History, pp. 6, 9-10. McDonald could not remember whether this first meeting was with the executive committee of the Board of Trustees or the First Presidency but Joseph Fielding Smith, whom he cited, was not a member of the First Presidency at the time. Sauls, Oral History, 1979, p. 27. The seminary program had existed since 1912 (Arrington and Bitton, Mormon Experience, pp. 254-55). McDonald, Autobiography, pp. 63-64; Brigham Young University, “Self-Evaluation Report I, Submitted to the Commission on Higher Schools of the Northwest Association of Secondary and Higher Schools,” 1 Oct. 1956, p. 19, BYUA.
43. McDonald, Oral History, pp. 2, 4. Ironically, McDonald would later be charged with instigating socialized medicine when he organized a student health insurance program. McDonald, Autobiography, p. 64; Hatch, “History of BYU Campus,” 5:11; “Scribe Tells of Year’s Troubles,” DU, 24 May 1951; BYU 2:394 (cf. “Army Training Comes in Handy at Wymount Village,” DU, 10 March 1949); “Campus Dormitory Is to Be Named Knight-Mangum Hall,” DU, 11 May 1954.
44. “Universe Scribe Offers Explanations for Eyesores,” DU, 7 Nov. 1950 (cf. “My First Impressions,” YN, 26 Sept. 1923); BYU 2:439, 493, 670; cartoon, DU, 1 April 1952; “The Safety Valve,” DU, 2 July 1953; “Y Mourns Death of Dr. Eyring,” DU, 4 Jan. 1951; Calvin Pratt et al. to Editor, DU, 9 Jan. 1951; George Sukiasian to Editor, DU, 23 Feb. 1954; “Science Building Named for Dr. Carl F. Eyring,” DU, 6 May 1954.
45. J. Reuben Clark III, Oral History, 19 Jan. 1982, BYUA; Swensen, Oral History, pp. 21-22; Sauls, Oral History, 1979, p. 26. Some members of the board evidently became so critical of McDonald that they sometimes condemned nearly everything connected with the university. They insisted, for instance, that BYU students who sang during a session of the semi-annual General Conference “just screamed and yelled;” and that religion professors participating in Education Week, a community outreach program sponsored by the College of Continuing Education, were “just breaking into the affairs of the church” and had little constructive to offer (McDonald, Oral History, pp. 28-29). Wayne B. Hales, Oral History, 25 May 1978, p. 12, BYUA; “Post Mortems,” DU, 20 April 1950; BYU 2:482.
Others considered for the position included Henry Aldous Dixon, president of Weber College; Wayne R. Driggs, president of College of Southern Utah; Preston O. Robinson, manager, Deseret News Press; George Albert Smith, Jr., assistant dean of the Harvard Business School; John T. Walquist, professor of education, University of Utah; and Ashael D. Woodruff, dean of BYU’s Graduate School. George Albert Smith, Jr., was a favorite among many BYU faculty but voluntarily withdrew from consideration because his father was church president. Merlo J. Pussey, Builders of the Kingdom: George A. Smith, John Henry Smith, George Albert Smith (Provo, Utah: BYU Press, 1981), p. 348. Wahlquist’s candidacy was backed by David O. McKay, second counselor in the First Presidency, who was evidently put off by Wilkinson’s lack of experience in education (John T. Wahlquist, Oral History, 1985, pp. 5-6, College of Education, University of Utah). McKay, however, would later become one of Wilkinson’s best supporters.
49. Wilkinson, in The Messenger, Nov. 1951, p. 21; BYU 2:529-30. Interestingly, Wilkinson’s father once complained that of six living children, Ernest “was the only one who has the devout bug,” and that “he had plagued me more than anyone else” (Robert Wilkinson to Dean R. Brimhall, 1 April 1958, Brimhall Papers, Marriott Library, University of Utah). BYU 3:775; Woodruff to Wilkinson, 14 Nov. 1951, Wilkinson Papers; Wilkinson Journal, 10 March 1960, 19 Aug. 1966, 24 July 1958, Wilkinson Papers; Robert K. Thomas, interview with Robert Gottlieb and Peter Wiley, Feb. 1982, copy of transcript in authors’ possession. For Wilkinson’s distrust of faculty involvement in his administration, see Wilkinson, “Motivating Forces Which Are Lacking in the Profession of Teaching,” 22 Aug. 1958, BYUA, and “Statement of President Wilkinson,” DU, 20 Nov. 1951. “Faculty to Advise Administration,” DU, 12 Jan. 1970. Wilkinson once reminded deans and department chairs, “Whenever you are not in your office you let your secretaries know where you will be so that I will be able to get in touch with you” (Wilkinson to Deans and Department Chairmen, 10 Feb. 1967, BYUA). Although he had personally concluded “we grow more by criticism than we do by praise,” he repeatedly insisted that faculty correspondence with church authorities be routed through his office “so that the administration will be aware of criticisms, and both sides can be presented” (Wilkinson to David O. McKay, 29 Nov. 1960; Wilkinson to Deans, Directors, and Departmental Chairmen, 12 Aug. 1963, UA 584; Bulletin, 9 Jan. 1970; Faculty Minutes, 16 Sept. 1963).
50. BYU 3:774 (cf. Wilkinson Journal, 8 Jan. 1955); “Inside the Wilkinson Era,” 25 May 1971, BYUA; Thomas, interview with Gottlieb and Wiley; Wilkinson, “The Need for Strong Adminstrative Leadership,” 8 May 1963, in Wilkinson file, BYUA; “Response of Ernest L. Wilkinson at Dinner Given for Himself and His Wife,” 3 Aug. 1971, pp. 3, 12, BYUA; Alice Ludlow Wilkinson, Oral History, 28 Sept. 1979, p. 15, BYUA; Harwood, Oral History; Joseph T. Bentley, Oral History, 16 Nov. 1983, p. 25, BYUA; “Mormon Dynamo,” Time, 20 May 1957, p. 48; Jaron Summers, “I Remember Ernie,” Utah Holiday, 3 Dec. 1975, p. 15; J. Reuben Clark, Jr., in “Tributes,” DU, 23 April 1971; Paul Harvey, in BYU 3:784; “Dr. Ernest L. Wilkinson,” DU, 30 April 1958; Hales, Oral History, pp. 11, 13; Wilkinson, in Lloyd L. Cullimore, Oral History, 23, 27 Feb. 1974, p. 32, BYUA; Wilkinson to Majorie Wight, 27 Dec. 1954, Wilkinson Papers; Wilkinson to Edwin Butterworth, 21 Sept. 1954, UA 586; Gerrit deJong, Oral History, 2 Aug. 1978, pp. 20-21, BYUA.
51. BYU 2:504; Wilkinson Journal, 18 Dec. 1953, 21 May 1959, 4 March 1955; Sauls, Oral History, 1979, pp. 20-22; Bentley, Oral History, p. 25. For BYU protocol, see Marion G. Romney, in BYU 4:200; Howard W. Hunter, “Pre-School Faculty Conference,” 29 Oct. 1968, BYUA; and Gordon B. Hinckley, “Keep Faith,” BYU Fall Faculty Workshop, 1972, p. 4, BYUA. For the effects of President McKay’s ill health on church administration, see Eugene E. Campbell and Richard D. Poll, Hugh B. Brown: His Life and Thought (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1975), pp. 268-69, and G. Homer Durham, N. Eldon Tanner: His Life and Service (Salt Lake City: Deseret Books, 1982), p. 213. Wilkinson Journal, 23 Feb., 7 July, 20 Sept. 1965, 25 July, 8 Sept. 1969. In late 1960, Wilkinson called on McKay at his office. McKay’s secretary, Clare Middlemiss, told Wilkinson that his wife had telephoned and that he was to return her call immediately. Middlemiss suggested that he use the telephone in the hall. “By the time I got this telephone [call] through,” Wilkinson remembered, Middlemiss “had locked the door on me. There was no question that it was purposeful” (Wilkinson Journal, 14 Sept. 1960).
52. BYU 4:472-76; Harvey L. Taylor, Oral History, 12 Feb. 1979, p. 12, BYUA. Other appointees included William E. Berrett, of the religion faculty; Fred A. Schwendiman, manager of Lagoon amusement park; Earl C. Crockett, professor of economics, University of Colorado; and Robert K. Thomas, a graduate of Reed and Columbia Universities. But Lowell L. Bennion, released in the early 1960s as director of the Salt Lake City Institute of Religion, adjacent to the University of Utah, refused Wilkinson’s invitation to come to BYU: “I can’t teach religion except in an atmosphere of complete freedom, and I don’t think I’d have it there” (“Saint for All Seasons: An Interview with Lowell L. Bennion,” Sunstone, Feb. 1985, p. 9).
53. William F. Edwards, interview with Harvard Heath and Richard Bennett, 8 July 1974, in BYU 2:626; Cottam to Wilkinson, 21 June 1955, Wilkinson Papers; Karl Young, Oral History, 4 Oct. 1979, p. 6, BYUA; Keifer B. Sauls, Oral History, 29 Aug. 1973, BYUA; Wilkinson, interview, 25 June 1971, BYUA; Brigham D. Madsen, in John Walsh, “Brigham Young University: Challenging the Federal Patron,” Science, 16 Jan. 1976, p. 162; figures from Nineteen Fifty-One to Nineteen Seventy-One: The Wilkinson Years (1971), pp. 7, 55, BYUA; BYU 4:523.
54. Board of Trustees Minutes, 28 March, 30 June, 14 Nov. 1952, 30 Oct. 1953; Wilkinson, “The Place of the Institute in the Church School System,” 20 Aug. 1953, p. 3, BYUA; Wilkinson, Conference with President Henry Aldous Dixon of USAC, 2 July 1954, Wilkinson Papers; Sterling M. McMurrin to A. Ray Olpin, 20 April, 1 June 1955, McMurrin Papers, Marriott Library, University of Utah; Wilkinson Journal, 19 May 1959, 14 March 1968; Board of Trustees Minutes, 1 Sept. 1965; BYU 3:509, 512-23. Studies have since found that returned missionaries typically achieve better grades following their missions than before (Byron J. Gilbert, “A Comparative GPA Study of Returned Missionaries on Academic Probation, Academic Suspension, or in Good Standing,” M.A. thesis, BYU, 1967). For Indian enrollments and dropouts, see Vernon Pack, “A Study to Determine the Effectiveness of the Indian Education Program at Brigham Young University in Meeting the Needs of the Indian Student,” M.S. thesis, BYU, 1966; Anthony F. Purley, “Comparison of the Results of Scholastic Aptitude Tests and College GPA of Two Indian Populations at the Brigham Young University,” M.S. thesis, BYU, 1962; Carolyn Seneca Steele, “The Relationship of Cultural Background to the Academic Success of American Indian Students at Brigham Young University,” M.A. thesis, BYU, 1968; Board of Trustees Minutes, 2 Feb. 1972; L. LaMar Adams, H. Bruce Higley, and Leland H. Campbell, “Academic Success of American Indian Students at a Large Private Univeristy,” College and University, Fall 1977, pp. 100-110; and Grant Hardy Taylor, “A Comparative Study of Former LDS Placement and Non-Placement Navajo Students at Brigham Young University,” Ph.D. diss., BYU, 1981. Throughout the 1960s, administrators discouraged handicapped applicants from attending because of the potential problems they posed (Board of Trustees Minutes, 2 March 1960) but reversed themselves in the early 1970s (Board of Trustees, Executive Committee Minutes, 1 March 1977). For BYU’s experience with black students, see Chapter 7.
55. “BYU’s Image Distorted?” DU, 11 April 1963; Scott Grant Halversen, “A Survey of the Image Utah High School Seniors Have of BYU and Other Four-Year Colleges in Utah With an Emphasis on the Two-Step Flow of Communication,” M.A. thesis, BYU, 1974; G. Robert Standing, “A Study of the Environment at Brigham Young University as Perceived by Its Students and as Anticipated by Entering Students,” M.S. thesis, BYU, 1962; BYU 2:615-17; 3:206-07. For drop-out rates and ACT scores, see figures in Printed Material 34, e-3, BYUA; “BYU Enrollment Profile,” BYUA; “Brigham Young University Fact Book, 1978-79;” The College Handbook, 1983-84, 21st ed. (New York: College Entrance Examination Board, 1983), p. 1513; “Survival of Freshmen Who Were Enrolled Autumn Quarter, Percentage Surviving,” UA 553; “Composition of Student Body by Class and Sex–Fall Semester, 1958-64,” Printed Material 32, BYUA; Board of Trustees Minutes, 2 June 1971; and Peterson’s Annual Guide to Undergraduate Study (Princeton: Peterson’s Guides, 1983), p. 305. The three major reasons for student dropout have been (and remain) marriage, finances, and employment (Lillian Clayson Booth, “A Study to Determine the Reasons for Student Mortality at Brigham Young University for the School Year 1948-49,” M.S. thesis, BYU, 1950; D. Garron Brian, “A Study to Determine Some of the Reasons for Student Discontinuance at the Brigham Young University for the Year 1950-51,” M.E. thesis, BYU, 1952; “Reasons Given for Discontinuance, 1950-51 to 1960-61,” Printed Material 34, e-2, BYUA; and L. A. Campbell to Wilkinson, 22 Oct. 1970, UA 572). Robert W. Spencer, “BYU Admissions: Past, Present, and Future,” BYU Today, Feb. 1984, p. 5. For two “special exceptions” to BYU’s admissions requirements, see Harwood, Oral History, pp. 16-17, and J. Elliot Cameron to Wilkinson, 23 May 1966, Wilkinson Papers. School officials also ruled in the mid-1960s that excommunicated or disfellowshipped Mormons would not be allowed entrance and checked the names of all applicants against monthly lists from the Presiding Bishop’s Office identifying all excommunicated church members (Board of Trustees Minutes, 1 Nov. 1967, 4 May 1960). See Chapter 3 for additional details. “Except for this limitation,” Wilkinson lamented of the school’s enrollment ceiling, “we should now have 40,000 to 50,000 students” (“Autobiography of Ernest L. Wilkinson”). The ceiling was raised to 26,000 in 1980, “with the understanding that this increase from the previous level of 25,000 would not be the subject of formal publicity” (Board of Trustees, Special Executive Committee Minutes, 12 March 1980). While full-time enrollment has remained at approximately 26,000 students, total enrollment has since exceeded 30,000.
56. See figures in Printed Material 43, e-2; Presidents’ Council Minutes, 16 March 1973, indentifies 5 percent as an unofficial quota for the number of non-LDS students allowed admission to BYU; Deans’ Council Minutes, 9 Sept. 1940, 15 Dec. 1954; Board of Trustees Minutes, 15 July 1948, 18 May 1953; “Response of Ernest L. Wilkinson at Dinner Given for Himself and His Wife,” pp. 6-8; Religion–A Way of Life at Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah: BYU, [early 1960s]), p. 12; Norman Ray Gallup, “The Relationship of Violations of University Standards to Academic Performance,” M.A. thesis, BYU, 1968. Converts, too, faced problems significantly different from Mormon “lifers” (see Grant Broadbent Smith, “A Personality Comparison of Students Born in the Mormon Church and Those Who Have Been Converted,” M.S. thesis, BYU, 1958; “Converts Face Paradox in Dealing with Family,” DU, 9 Jan. 1984 [but cf., Elaine Stevens Robbins, "A Self-Concept Comparison of L.D.S. and Non-L.D.S. Students," Ed.D. diss., BYU, 1979, who found that non-LDS students tend to be more at ease with their families than LDS students]). For the tuition differential, see Wilkinson Journal, 29 Dec. 1962; Board of Trustees, Executive Committee Minutes, 28 March 1963; BYU 3:547; Barbara Jensen to Editor, DU, 12 Feb. 1964; Feramorz Sani to Editor, DU, 26 Feb. 1964; and Board of Trustees Minutes, 7 Sept. 1966. A comparison of “Brigham Young University Fact Book–Centennial Edition, April 1976,” Office of Institutional Research, BYUA, and “Brigham Young University Fact Book, 1978-79,” shows that from 1966 to 1978, the percentage of non-Mormon students at BYU decreased from 4.6 to 2.7. For the experiences of non-Mormon students, see “Reflections from a Non-Member,” DU, 30 Nov. 1973; “Non-Mormons Claim No Y. Pressure,” Salt Lake Tribune, 27 Oct. 1975; “Non-Mormon Students Feel Ostracized at BYU,” DU, 24 Oct. 1979; “Non-LDS Have Varied Experience in Provo,” DU, 2 Nov. 1981. Clubs and Organizations at Brigham Young University (BYU, 1984); “Campus Chatter,” SEP, 20 Feb. 1982; “Program Helps Non-LDS at Y,” DU, 20 Sept. 1983; “Fellowship Tries to Fill Gap for Non-LDS,” DU, 21 Sept. 1982.
57. Wilkinson Journal, 25 Oct. 1957; Seven-Year Report of the President (1950-51 to 1956-57), Brigham Young University, p. 270, BYUA; Lee, in J. Reuben Clark III, Oral History, pp. 9-10; Bowen, in “Response of Ernest L. Wilkinson at Dinner Given for Himself and His Wife,” p. 5; Robert Gottlieb and Peter Wiley, America’s Saints: The Rise of Mormon Power (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1984), pp. 100-102; Wilkinson Journal, 25 Oct. 1957, 11-25 Feb. 1958, 22 Oct., 4 Dec. 1959, 3-20 Jan., 12 Dec. 1961. For criticisms of Wilkinson’s financial proposals, see Wilkinson Journal, 29 Oct. 1959, 24 Feb., 28 April, 19 Oct. 1960. Compare Seven-Year Report and “Annual Financial Report,” 31 Aug. 1971, BYUA.
58. “BYU Historical,” YN, 17 Oct. 1921; BYU 2:225-27; Harvey Fletcher to Harris, 7 Jan. 1922, Harris Papers; Wayne B. Hales to Wilkinson, 13 Jan. 1951, Wilkinson Papers; Harris to Stephen L Richards, 7 Oct. 1943, Harris Papers. See salary computations in Franklin L. West Papers and Adam S. Bennion Papers; Wilkinson, in The Messenger, Nov. 1951; Board of Trustees Minutes, 18 May 1953 (cf. Faculty Minutes, 18 Sept. 1956; “Comparative Average Salaries by Rank: Universities for the Year 1965-66, Nine-Month Basis,” BYUA–BYU salaries even ranked behind those offered at the church’s two-year College of Hawaii). Of eleven prospective faculty who turned down employment with the psychology department in the mid-1960s, all cited, among other reasons, low salaries as a factor in deciding to accept offers elsewhere (Kenneth R. Hardy to John T. Bernhard, 10 June 1966, BYUA). For the confidentiality of faculty salaries, see Wilkinson, “An Address to the Faculty at a Workshop Preceding the Opening of the 1954-55 School Year,” 17 Sept. 1954, BYUA, and “Wilkinson Defends Policies,” DU, 30 Oct. 1968.
59. Smith, “The Early Years,” p. 80; Board of Trustees Minutes, 12 Sept. 1945; Wilkinson Journal, 7-8 April, 7 May 1956, 16 Nov., 6 Dec. 1957, 7-10 March 1958; Board of Trustees Minutes, 17 Dec. 1957, 15 Oct. 1958, 3 June, 2 Sept. 1959, 3 Feb. 1960; Wilkinson, memo of conference with David O. McKay, 1962, Wilkinson Papers (cf. Wilkinson, Fund Raising, 28 June 1973, BYUA); BYU 3:564-68; Harold W. Pease, “The History of the Alumni Association and Its Influence on the Development of Brigham Young University,” Ph.D. diss., BYU, 1974, pp. 319-35.
60. Wilkinson Journal, 6 Feb. 1959, 12 June 1962 (cf. BYU 3:568-70), 6 Jan., 4 Feb. 1960, 23 May 1961 (cf. Board of Trustees Minutes, 6 Jan., 25 March, 4 May 1960); Kenneth W. Porter and F. Charles Graves, “Recommendations Regarding Brigham Young University’s Foundation Program,” Oct. 1970, BYUA (cf. Wilkinson, memo of a conference with Mark Cannon, 18 Aug. 1966, BYUA); BYU Development Office, “Fund Raising Highlights,” 1976-77, 1978-79, BYUA.
61. BYU 2:676, 680; Sam F. Brewster, Oral History, 29 Nov. 1983, p. 2, BYUA; BYU 3:275; Clyde D. Sandgren to Dallin H. Oaks, 2 Feb. 1972, and Sandgren, “Eminent Domain Amendment,” 22 Jan. 1973, BYUA; “Domain Stand Taken by BYU President,” DU, 10 March 1953; “Eminent Domain Bill Introduced in State Senate,” DU, 14 Feb. 1957; “Certain BYU Purchases in 1956,” BYUA; J. Reuben Clark III, Oral History, p. 10. At the insistance of Wilkinson’s successor, Dallin Oaks, school administrators backed legislation in the early 1970s to repeal portions of the statute which had extended the state’s power of eminent domain to “private educational institutions.” Oaks was concerned that this privilege jeopardized BYU’s status as a private institution (Sandgren to Oaks, 26 Jan., 29 Jan., 1 Feb. 1973, BYUA). Cullimore, Oral History, pp. 15, 32; BYU 2:394, 610, 616, 683-707; 3:28-49, 245-58; Ephraim Hatch, “A Survey of the Development of the Physical Plant, Brigham Young University,” 1975, vol. 1, p. 31, 10, BYUA. When the American College Health Association refused to certify BYU’s health program in 1971 because of deficiencies in inpatient facilities (including one fatality from a tonsillectomy), the Health Center became an outpatient clinic (Wilkinson Journal, 16 May 1966; BYU 3:648; see also “Health Center Hysterics,” DU, 29 Jan. 1973). Wilkinson consistently ranked the growth of the campus as one of the “lesser accomplishments” of his administration, far behind, for example, the organization of the student body into LDS wards and stakes (BYU 3:271; see also Chapter 2).
62. BYU 3:37; “Building Recommendations,” DU, 15 April 1957; “Controversy Developing on Naming of Proposed Student Union Building,” DU, 8 April 1957; “About That Center,” DU, 30 Sept. 1960; “New Building Poll Results Favor ‘Memorial Union,’” DU, 22 April 1957; “What’s Happening to Student Building?” DU, 29 April 1960; “Student Center Plans Shrouded in Secrecy,” DU, 5 May 1960; “Financing the ‘Y’ Center,” in ASBYU Student Body History, 1963-64, BYUA; Board of Trustees Minutes, 3 March 1965; Dorothy Hall to Editor, DU, 17 March 1965. Over the years, trustees have named a number of buildings after living church authorities who presided at ground-breaking and dedication ceremonies, including the Heber J. Grant, David O. McKay, N. Eldon Tanner, and Spencer W. Kimball Buildings (“New Grant Library Will Be Dedicated,” YN, 16 Oct. 1925; BYU 2:706-07; “Flying Rock Injures Woman,” DU, 10 Nov. 1980; “SWKT Dedicated,” DU, 10 March 1982).
63. Board of Trustees Minutes, 26 June 1953 (cf. BYU 2:574-82); Board of Trustees, Executive Committee Minutes, 16 Sept. 1952; Wilkinson, in Meservy, “Changes in Policy of Higher Education,” p. 372; see correspondence between J. Bracken Lee and the First Presidency, 14, 21 May 1954, in Meservy, pp. 519-23. Both letters were orchestrated and drafted by Wilkinson (Wilkinson Journal, 14-21 May 1954). Wilkinson Journal, 26 Nov. 1954; BYU 3:149-62 (cf. news articles in DU, 5-28 Jan. 1959, 27 July 1960, and 21 Nov. 1963). Wilkinson’s appointment as administrator of church schools made him de facto church commissioner of education, a position formerly held by Franklin L. West, from 1936 to 1953. See Chapter 2 for additional details.
64. Board of Trustees Minutes, 2 Dec. 1959, 7 Sept. 1960; McKay Journal, 21 Sept. 1960, 27 Sept. 1962, McKay Papers; Packer to the First Presidency, 18 Feb. 1963, McKay Papers; Wilkinson Journal, 1, 6, 13 March, 3 July 1963; Board of Trustees, Executive Committee Minutes, 1, 5 March, 3 July 1963; William F. Edwards to Delbert L. Stapley, 10 Sept. 1963, Wilkinson Papers.
65. Both Karl Maeser and Franklin Harris had unsuccessfully run for elected office (see Maeser to George Reynolds, 12 Oct. 1895, Maeser Papers; Harris Journal, 8-10 Aug. 1938, Harris Papers). For details of Wilkinson’s political “hiatus,” see BYU 3:177-90. Joseph Fielding Smith to Earl C. Crockett, 20 May 1964; Wilkinson Journal, 30 Nov. 1964, 5 Jan. 1965; Board of Trustees Minutes, 6 Jan. 1965; Sauls, Oral History, 1979, pp. 45-46; Harvey Taylor, Oral History, p. 13; Joseph Bentley, Oral History, p. 27.
66. BYU 3:745-77; “Wilkinson Resigns,” DU, 9 March 1971; Wilkinson Journal, 7 April, 2 June 1971; Wilkinson to Oaks, 10 Jan. 1972; Oaks to Wilkinson, 13 Jan. 1972, Wilkinson Papers (cf. BYU 3:754). For an insider’s view of Wilkinson’s BYU history project, see Harvard Heath, Oral History, 22 April 1982, BYUA, and Richard Bennett, Oral History, 20 Jan. 1983, BYUA. See, for example, the reviews by Frederick S. Buchanan, in Utah Historical Quarterly, Summer 1977, pp. 309-11, and Marvin S. Hill, in BYU Studies, Autumn 1976, pp. 124-28. The Wilkinson biography was written by Woodruff J. Deem and Roy K. Bird. Wilkinson’s funeral was held in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square, an honor usually reserved for ranking church authorities (“Wilkinson Praised,” DU, 11 April 1978).
67. “Search Begins,” DU, 11 March 1971. The search committee was composed of Marion G. Romney, Boyd K. Packer, Marion D. Hanks, and Neal A. Maxwell (BYU 4:7). BYU 4:10, 202-05; Board of Trustees Minutes, 4 May 1971; “Dallin Oaks New President,” DU, 4 May 1971.
68. BYU 4:10-22, 270; Evelyn Oaks Hammond, in The Dallin Oaks Years, 1971-80, pp. 14, 16, BYUA; “Oaks Reminisces,” DU, 12 Sept. 1975; “Oaks Years Remembered,” DU, 31 July 1980. For Oaks’s views on law and order, see “Ethics, Morality, and Professional Responsibility,” in BYU Law Review, 1975, pp. 594-96; “Studying the Exclusionary Rule in Search and Seizure,” University of Chicago Law Review, Summer 1970, p. 655; and “President Oaks Speaks at Honor Banquet,” DU, 29 March 1974. Because of Oaks’s association with Chief Justice Earl Warren, some trustees feared that “he might have [adopted] some of the leftist views of the Chief Justice.” Oaks, however, assured church officials that “he was opposed to many of Warren’s views.” Apostle Ezra Taft Benson, a politically conservative critic of the Warren court, “seemed quite enthused” with Oaks’s response. “Compared to some they may have gotten,” Benson reported, “I am very happy with him” (Wilkinson Journal, 4 May 1971; cf., however, Benson’s subsequent criticisms of Oaks in Chapter 5). For other concerns expressed over Oaks’s appointment, particularly his having served on the editorial board of Dialogue magazine, see “Interview: Dallin H. Oaks,” DU, 17 May 1971.
69. Thomas, interview with Gottlieb and Wiley; The Oaks Years, pp. 34, 37-38; “High Court for Oaks?” DU, 17 Nov. 1975; “Oaks Silent on Naming,” DU, 18 Nov. 1975; “Desires to Work with Youth,” DU, 5 May 1971 (see also “Not Mandatory,” DU, 31 Aug. 1972, and the discussion in Chapter 2); Oaks to Martin B. Hickman, 16 Nov. 1974, UA 568. For other examples of Oaks’s humor, see Jeffrey R. Holland, in The Oaks Years, pp. 38, 41.
70. Oaks, handwritten notes to Faculty Meeting Speech, 13 Sept. 1971, copy in authors’ possession; Oaks, “Response,” 12 Nov. 1971, in Inaugural Addresses, p. 19, BYUA; DHO, “A New President Speaks to BYU,” 23 Sept. 1971, Speeches, 1971-72, p. 16; Oaks, “Challenges for the Year Ahead,” 6 Sept. 1973, pp. 11-12, BYUA (cf. “Honor, Character Stressed,” DU, 9 Jan. 1974).
71. Thomas, interview with Gottlieb and Wiley; Board of Trustees Minutes, 6 Dec. 1972; “Brigham Young University Fact Book-Centennial Edition,” April 1976, and “Brigham Young University Fact Book,” 1978-79 (cf. “Report to the Commission on Colleges of the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges,” 23-25 March 1976, p. 59, BYUA); Brigham Young University Enrollment Resume, 1977-78 (BYU: Office of Institutional Research and Planning, Sept. 1978), p.3; Printed Material 32, BYUA; and Grant and Snyder, Digest of Education Statistics, p. 88. Faculty inbreeding has remained a problem, however, as more than one-third of the school’s faculty have earned their highest degree from BYU, University of Utah, or Utah State University. Board of Trustees Minutes, 7 April 1971, 4 April 1979; “General Education Changes for New Students,” DU, 6 Jan. 1976 (cf. “More GE Surveys Show Student Unrest,” DU, 3 Feb. 1978). Sixty-five percent of freshmen polled were dissatisfied with the new General Education program, although 51 percent reported they could pass the examinations without difficulty. “G.E. Exemption Rules Altered,” DU, 10 Jan. 1984; “Report to the Commission on Colleges of the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges,” pp. 37, 87. For a discussion of the 1966 accreditation report, see Chapters 5 and 9. The Church College of Hawaii became a “subsidiary” of BYU in 1974 to enhance the prestige of the Hawaiian facility (BYU 4:218).
72. “Annual Financial Report,” 31 Aug. 1971 and 31 Aug. 1981, BYUA. Close to $30 million is paid annually to student employees alone (“Y Employer of 8,000 Students,” DU, 5 Nov. 1984). Board of Trustees Minutes, 11 Oct. 1972. For tuition increases, see “Financial Planning Guidelines,” 19 Oct. 1972; “BYU Tuition Increase Planned,” BYU Today, Feb. 1984, p. 14; and “Students Will Face $40 Tuition Increase in ’85-86 School Year,” DU, 21 Nov. 1984. Board of Trustees, Executive Committee Minutes, 13 Aug. 1976; Special Budget Minutes, 9 Feb. 1977; “Faculty Salary Survey, 1977-78,” BYUA; “BYU Makes Strides in Salary Competition,” SEP, 8 Feb. 1983; Oaks to Tanner, 13 June 1979, copy in authors’ possession.
73. “Economic Survey of Full-Time BYU Employees,” 6 Nov. 1979, copy in authors’ possession; Oaks to Jeffrey R. Holland, 14 Nov. 1979, copy in authors’ possession; “Average Salaries (1979-80) of Full-Time Faculty at the Base Schools Selected for the BYU Salary Survey,” Sept. 1979, BYUA; “BYU Makes Strides in Salary Competition,” SEP, 8 Feb. 1983.
74. BYU 3:575-91; “LDS Foundation Brings Billions in Donations to Church Programs,” DU, 8 Nov. 1984 (cf. “Correction,” DU, 9 Nov. 1984); Development Office, “Fund Raising Highlights,” 1976-79, BYUA. For decisions regarding the propriety of approaching potential donors with the promise of naming buildings after them, see Board of Trustees Minutes, 30 Oct. 1953, 3 May 1967, 6 Sept. 1967, 4 Sept. 1968, 4 Sept. 1969, 30 June 1971; Wilkinson, memo of a conference with the First Presidency, 22 March 1962; Board of Trustees Minutes, 11 Oct. 1972, 7 Sept. 1977, 7 Dec. 1977, 3 Jan. 1979; Board of Trustees, Executive Committee Minutes, 17 Aug. 1972, 21 June 1973, 18 Oct. 1973, 21 March 1974, 25 Jan. 1980, 24 June 1980, 3 Sept. 1980, 7 Nov. 1980; “$500,000 Gift,” BYU Today, Aug. 1977, p. 4; and Richard V. Sawyer, These Mortal Years: The Biography of Monte L. Bean (Seattle, Washington: Frayn Printing Co., 1977), pp. 447-53.
75. BYU 4:166, 335; “BYU to Build Bell Structure,” DU, 26 Nov. 1974; “Two Sculptures to Decorate Campus,” DU, 4 April 1975; BYU 3:267; “Academy Buyer Plans Renovation,” DU, 21 Nov. 1984; “Y’s Centennial Production Disappoints Audience,” DU, 8 April 1976; “Why No Sticker?” DU, 16 Sept. 1975; “Y-less Stickers Lifted,” DU, 24 Sept. 1975; “Confessions of a Bumper Sticker Thief,” SEP, 12 Oct. 1982.
76. Title IX amendments are found in United States Code, vol. 20, sec. 1681-86; Board of Trustees Minutes, 2 Feb. 1972, 6 June 1973; Board of Trustees, Executive Committee Minutes, 19 April 1973; “The Role of Women Employees at Brigham Young University,” 1975 (sponsored by the Administrative Advisory Council), UA 553; Jon Larson to University Personnel Committee, 2 April 1975, copy in authors’ possession; President’s Weekly Minutes, 15 Aug. 1973; BYU 4:310-12; “Concerns for Women Reviewed,” DU, 31 March 1977; Elouise M. Bell, “The Implications of Feminism for BYU,” BYU Studies, Summer 1976, p. 531; “Oaks Affirms Necessity of Education for Women,” DU, 13 Feb. 1974; Claudia L. Bushman, “The Best of Both Worlds,” in ASBYU Academics Office, Best Lectures, 1973-74, BYUA; Bell, “Implications of Feminism,” pp. 527-40; Maureen Ursenbach Beecher, “Under the Sunbonnets: Mormon Women with Faces,” in BYU Studies, Summer 1976, pp. 471-84).
77. “HEW Rule Subject of BYU Study,” DU, 5 June 1975; “Oaks: HEW Rules May be Dangerous,” DU, 26 June 1975. BYU officials had anticipated such a confrontation (see Oaks to Ben E. Lewis, Robert K. Thomas, Robert J. Smith, 5 Sept. 1974, copy in authors’ possession). “Notification of Brigham Young University Policy of Non-Discrimination on the Basis of Sex,” DU, 21 Oct. 1975; “Challenging 6 HEW Sex Bias Rules,” DU, 17 Oct. 1975 (cf. BYU 4:278-80). Of the letters received responding to BYU’s position, 97 percent favored Oaks’s stand (“Letters Received at President’s Office Regarding Title IX,” BYUA). BYU 4:316; “HEW Rules May Affect Standards,” DU, 7 Nov. 1975; Martin H. Gerry to Oaks, 17 March 1976 (cf. Oaks to Gerry, 10 April 1976), Oaks Papers; “HEW Wants More Info,” DU, 22 March 1976; Oaks, “Annual Report on the University,” Second Century: On With the Task–Brigham Young University Conference Speeches, 1976, pp. 18-20, BYUA; Oaks, “Business and Report Message,” The Annual University Conference of Brigham Young University, 1978 Speeches, pp. 10-11, BYUA; Board of Trustees Minutes, 5 Sept. 1979. For earlier confirmation of HEW’s decision, see Board of Trustees Minutes, 1 Sept. 1976. A later ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court supported BYU’s contention that HEW regulations applied only to those programs substantially funded by federal research grants or student loans. Subsequent legislation to broaden the scope of the HEW guidelines to encompass a school’s entire academic curriculum have so far proven unsuccessful (“Leeway in Sex Bias,” Salt Lake Tribune, 29 Feb. 1984; “Federal Aid Ruling Pleases Y Leaders,” DU, 1 March 1984; and “Y Hails Amendment’s Defeat,” Salt Lake Tribune, 5 Oct. 1984). BYU’s concerns over other HEW guidelines are discussed in Chapters 3 and 7.
78. For the church’s historic response to women, see Marie Cornwall, “Women and the Church: An Organizational Analysis,” Dec. 1982, copy in authors’ possession, and the addresses of Carol Cornwall Madsen, Lavina Fielding Anderson, and Francine Russell Bennion, in Sunstone, Nov./Dec. 1981, pp. 7-20. The token appointment of one woman to the school’s Board of Trustees lasted from 1875 until 1939. During the late 1960s, a policy of appointing the church’s Relief Society general president was again instituted. She was joined in 1984 by the Young Women’s president. For the politics involved in the appointment of BYA’s first woman trustee, Martha J. Coray, see Edna Coray Dyer, “Incidents about Martha Coray Related by Grandfather Howard Coray,” in Martha J. Knowlton Coray file, BYUA. Besides Coray, other female trustees included Susa Young Gates and Zina Young Card, for a total of less than 6 percent of all trustees appointed prior to 1939 (BYU 1:572-73). Amy Brown Lyman, A Lighter of Lamps: The Life Story of Alice Louise Reynolds (Provo: The Alice Louise Reynolds Club, 1947), pp. 27-36; “School Happenings,” WB, 1 April 1904; Sarah Comstock, “The Mormon College Girl: The Coed, Her Ideas and Ways, in a University for the Faith,” Collier’s, 30 July 1910, pp. 18-19; “Democracy?” YN, 23 Jan. 1924; “So This Is College,” YN, 15 March 1935 (“Mormon women,” observed the student columnist, “have always been theologically handicapped”). “President Delivers Inaugural Address,” YN, 17 Oct. 1921; Harris to George J. Jarvis, 10 April 1924, Harris Papers; “Mrs. Widtsoe Outlines Value of Training for Home Building,” YN, 9 Dec. 1925; Wilkinson to John A. Widtsoe, 13 Aug. 1949, Wilkinson Papers; Wilkinson, in The Messenger, Nov. 1951; photo caption, Tausig scrapbook, UA/SB 34, BYUA.
79. “Women’s Week,” DU, 14 April 1953; “‘Leaprosy’ Will Present Hints, Introduce BYU Preferred Men,” DU, 1 Dec. 1960; “Preparation Key to Happiness,” DU, 3 April 1973; “Women’s Office Offers Fun, Growth,” DU, 7 Nov. 1975; Elaine Cannon, “Male, Female, and the Lord,” 10 Feb. 1970, in Speeches, 1969-70, p. 5; Marne Tuttle, in “Women Told to Love, Put God First,” DU, 5 May 1972; “Ballots Get Xs Today,” DU, 14 April 1960. ASBYU Presidential hopeful Diane Hatch lost to Max Pinegar (“Max Battens Down Hatch,” DU, 18 April 1960). Fifteen years later in 1985, BYU junior Scott Bentz was elected ASBYU Women’s Office vice-president, but outgoing women’s vice-president Stephanie Black complained, “As long as we don’t have coed dorms and locker rooms, he won’t understand what women are talking about, feeling or needing” (“So Was Scott Bentz’ Election as Women’s Vice President a Joke?” The Latter-day Sentinel, 27 April 1985, p. 12). Other Women’s Weeks themes included “Cinderella Holiday” and “She Walks in Beauty” (“Women’s Week Begins Monday,” DU, 26 April 1956; “She Walks in Beauty,” DU, 16 Nov. 1964). Wilkinson, addendum to memo of conference with President McKay, 16 April 1959, Wilkinson Papers; BYU 2:635; Board of Trustees Minutes, 2 June 1971. This ruling was one of several repealed by the Board of Trustees in 1972. Bergin, in “Different Campus Aspects Viewed,” DU, 8 Oct. 1973. A 1970 thesis on the status of BYU women graduates as “mothers,” approved by the College of Religious Instruction, lamented that a majority had “broken the Lord’s commandment ‘to multiply’ by using contraceptives” (Phyllis Ann Roundy, “An Analysis of BYU 1963 Women Graduates’ Present Status as Mothers in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” M.A. thesis, BYU, 1970).
80. Oaks, “Accomplishments, Prospects, and Problems,” pp. 27-32; “President Talks on Status of Women at BYU” and “Dr. Marilyn Arnold Accepts Post as Assistant to President,” The Y News, 2 Sept. 1975; “Status of Women at BYU,” DU, 12 Dec. 1979; “The Tables Turned–An Exercise in Consciousness Raising,” presented 11 Nov. 1976, copy in authors’ possession; “University Awareness Growing,” DU, 8 Dec. 1977; President’s Weekly Minutes, 7 and 23 Jan. 1979; “California Woman Named Research Institute Head,” DU, 22 June 1978; “New Institute Responds to Needs,” DU, 24 Jan. 1979; “Science Talks Planned,” DU, 4 March 1982; “Y’s First Female Detective,” DU, 6 July 1978; “Woman Joins Y Religion Faculty,” DU, 22 Oct. 1981; “Women Enjoy MBA Program,” DU, 19 March 1974; “No ‘Libber’ Says Jody,” DU, 15 Nov. 1978; “People,” Sunstone Review, June 1983, p. 2; “Execs Vote Change in Women’s Office,” DU, 13 Nov. 1974; “Office Relocation Killed,” DU, 16 Dec. 1974; “Voters Reject Proposal VI, OK Other Amendments,” DU, 10 March 1969; “Three-Day Event to Feature Women,” DU, 11 Feb. 1976; advertisement, DU, 5 Feb. 1979, “Women Can Succeed,” DU, 9 Feb. 1981; advertisement, DU, 15 Feb. 1983; “Roles of Women Change,” DU, 15 March 1978; “Take Active World Role, Speaker Urges,” DU, 4 Feb. 1981; “Appointment to Court ‘High Time,’” DU, 2 Feb. 1983.
81. For the response among BYU students to the Equal Rights Amendment, see “Majority Opposed to Amendment,” DU, 25 Jan. 1973. Opposition to the ERA among BYU students jumped by more than 50 percent following the First Presidency’s official opposition (“Y Coeds Turn Thumbs Down on ERA,” DU, 7 Feb. 1977). For the church’s response to the ERA, see “Statement of the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Opposing Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment,” 22 Oct. 1976; “LDS Oppose Additional Time for ERA Approval,” 25 May 1978; “Reaffirmation of the First Presidency’s Position on ERA,” 24 Aug. 1978; First Presidency to General Authorities et al., 12 Oct. 1978; and Ezra Taft Benson to All Stake and Mission Presidents in the United States, 29 Dec. 1976, all in authors’ possession. Oaks to All Faculty and Administrative Staff, 27 April 1978, BYUA; “Pres. Oaks Attacks ERA Groups,” DU, 2 May 1978. Oaks also raised the possibility of the university’s cancelling its membership in nine of the groups to which it belonged. “Survey Shows Low Support of TV Blackout Campaign,” DU, 25 May 1978; Oaks to Lael Woodbury and Dallas Burnett, 19 May 1978, BYUA; President’s Weekly Minutes, 23 Jan. 1980; “BYU Thirteenth Stake Combined Priesthood and Relief Society Meeting,” 13 Jan. 1980, and attachment, copies in author’s possession; “I Want to be a Woman,” 1984, copy in authors’ possession. Religion professor Rodney Turner, an outspoken critic of the women’s movement, reminded students in 1982, “BYU should be a happy hunting ground for worthy mates” (“Higher Education Hazardous to Women, Prof Says,” SEP, 22 July 1982; “Rodney Turner Defines Women’s Roles,” Sunstone Review, Aug. 1982, p. 10). For Turner’s earlier views on women, see Turner, “Women and the Priesthood,” 6 March 1966, BYUA; “Professor Criticizes Feminist Movement,” DU, 10 Feb. 1978; cf., however, “Dr. Lynn Speaks on Women,” DU, 17 Feb. 1978. “BYU Women’s Conference May Not Be Just For Women Anymore,” Sunstone Review, March 1984, p. 11; “Y Women’s Conference in New Hands,” DU, 11 Sept. 1984; “New Women’s Research Institute Director Named,” BYU Today, Aug. 1983, p. 7; “People,” Sunstone Review, July/Aug. 1983, p. 11; “Course at Y Examines Various Women’s Issues,” DU, 9 Feb. 1984; “Women’s Week at Y Will Explore Business Careers,” DU, 13 Nov. 1984; “Two Women Appointed to Y Board of Trustees,” DU, 15 April 1984.
82. “Brigham Young University Fact Book–Centennial Edition;” “Brigham Young University Fact Book,” 1978-79. See Martin Trow, ed., Teachers and Students; Aspects of American Higher Education (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1975), pp. 202-17; and AAUP Bulletin, Aug. 1977. “Discrepancy in Female College Faculty Members,” Salt Lake Tribune, 10 June 1984; Holland, “Remarks at Spring Leadership Workshop,” 18 May 1984, p. 11, BYUA; figures from BYU fact books, centennial and 1978-79 editions, and “Short Subjects,” Sunstone Review, Oct. 1982, p. 6. Cf., however, “Number of Women Graduating on the Rise,” DU, 13 June 1984. Brent Barlow, “Marriage, Education or Both at BYU,” 9 Oct. 1980, BYUA; Catharine Susan Jones, “A Comparison of the Educational and Vocational Plans of Women Students at Two Utah Universities, All Utah Colleges and in the Nation,” M.A. thesis, BYU, 1976; Women’s Research Committee, comp., “Employment Comparisons: Mormon Women,” Correlation Department, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, May 1982.
Actually, BYU administrators have given university personnel mixed signals regarding affirmative action programs. In 1973, for example, the officers of the Board of Trustees, composed of members of the First Presidency, advised Church Commissioner of Education Neal A. Maxwell and President Oaks as follows:
As you are aware, the leaders of the church have consistently taught that mothers who have small children and care of their families should not seek employment outside the home unless there is no other way that the family’s basic needs can be provided. . . . We earnestly desire that all members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints–as well as persons everywhere–would follow this counsel. We expect the teachers in the Church Educational System to continue to teach this principle, just as we expect them to uphold and teach all of the principles of the gospel taught by the leaders of the church. Our counsel that mothers should not be employed outside the home except in extraordinary circumstances is not contrary to the laws [i.e., equal opportunity] mentioned since these teachings concern matters of belief on which we are content to teach the membership correct principles and let them govern themselves. Since the law does concern the action of employers, the administrators of our church schools, colleges, and university, in all actions on the hiring, promotion, and compensation of women, should scrupulously observe the requirements of the law. (Board of Trustees, Executive Committee Minutes, 17 May 1973.)
83. Oaks to Spencer W. Kimball, 16 Jan. 1978, copy in authors’ possession; Oaks to Hugh W. Pinnock, 16 Feb. 1978, copy in authors’ possession; Oaks to Jeffrey R. Holland, 2 July 1976, copy in authors’ possession. For Oaks’s views on bureaucracy, see “Unruly Laws for Lawmakers,” 1977, BYUA. Holland, “The Bond of Charity,” in The Bond of Charity: The Annual University Conference and Summer Commencement Exercises, 1980, p. 4, BYUA; Board of Trustees Minutes, 7 May 1980; “A Change in Presidency,” BYU Today, June 1980, p. 1; “Oaks Steps Down After Nine Years,” DU, 8 May 1980; “Change in Presidents Surprises Secretaries,” DU, 14 Nov. 1980.
84. Board of Trustees Minutes, 7 May 1980. The search committee was composed of all members of the board’s executive committee, with Gordon B. Hinckley as chair. “Holland Chosen as Y President,” DU, 13 May 1980; Jeffrey R. Holland, interview with Gottlieb and Wiley, 3 Nov. 1981, copy of transcript in authors’ possession; “Potential Unlimited, Holland Says,” DU, 4 Sept. 1980.
86. Holland, “Bond of Charity,” pp. 5, 9; “Holland Cites Mission of Y,” DU, 31 Aug. 1984; “Holland Takes Y Helm,” DU, 17 Nov. 1980; “An Institution of Ideas and Ideals,” BYU Today, Dec. 1980, p. 17; “Holland Expresses Much Concern,” DU, 3 Sept. 1981; “‘I Wish to Fight to Keep Our Institutional Virtue Intact,’” Church News, 12 Sept. 1981, p. 6; “`We Cannot Do Everything but What We Choose to Do We Will Do Superbly Well,’” BYU Today, Dec. 1981, p. 17.
87. Elliott Butler and Lyman Durfee, in “A Closer Look at the President,” SEP, 4 Sept. 1982; Holland, “Bond of Charity,” p. 6; Holland to W. Rolfe Kerr, 25 Nov. 1980, copy in authors’ possession; “‘We Cannot Do Everything,” BYU Today, Dec. 1981, p. 17.
88. Projected from figures in “Annual Financial Report,” 31 Aug. 1981, BYUA; “Peeking,” BYU Today, Nov. 1982, pp. 14-16; “E:80s-Full Steam Ahead,” BYU Today, Dec. 1983, pp. 25-27; “Y Constructs New Technology Building,” DU, 22 Aug. 1983; “Way Cleared for Technology Building,” SEP, 21 Oct. 1981; J. Larry Murdock, “The Image of Provo, Utah, as Seen Through the Perceptions of Its Residents,” M.S. thesis, BYU, 1976; BYU 3:262; estimated from figures in “Brigham Young University Land Use,” in “Brigham Young University Fact Book,” 1978-79; “BYU Buildings,” 1975-82, UAP 10; “Maeser Building Gets Face Lift,” DU, 14 Sept. 1984.
89. Board of Trustees Minutes, 7 May 1980; “New Policy Urges Preparation,” DU, 20 Aug. 1984. Since the early 1970s, church officials have repeatedly disapproved proposals to establish local schools for their members, explaining: “Financial limitations make it impossible to duplicate existing school systems, even when the teachings of some of these systems are offensive to the members of the church” (Board of Trustees, Executive Committee Minutes, 17 Aug. 1972, 5 Sept. 1978, 24 June 1980). Packer, in “BYU Admissions: Past, Present, Future,” p. 5; “They’re Doing What With Tuition at Ricks College?” The Latter-day Sentinel, 2 Feb. 1985. Historically, BYU has never been able to accommodate more than 3 percent of the total possible number of LDS students.
90. Board of Trustees, Executive Committee Minutes, 16 March 1978, 17 May 1979, 6 June 1979; B. Keith Duffin to Oaks, 23 April 1980, and Oaks to Duffin, 1 May 1980, copies in authors’ possession; “Non-LDS Faculty’s Biggest Worry: Fitting In,” DU, 8 Dec. 1982; “Hiring Policies Tightened,” SEP, 8 Feb. 1983; Oaks to Executive Committee, 25 Jan. 1980, copy in authors’ possession; Board of Trustees Minutes, 6 Sept. 1972, 4 Oct. 1978. Similar problems facing LDS faculty at other religiously sponsored colleges and universities have only recently surfaced (see “Teacher’s Job in Jeopardy Because He’s Mormon,” Salt Lake Tribune, 6 July 1984). Board of Trustees, Executive Committee Minutes, 24 Feb. 1966, 23 Dec. 1980; Religious Instruction Administrative Council Minutes, 8 Dec. 1977, UA 554; “Campus Chatter,” SEP, 8 March 1983; Holland, “Remarks at Spring Leadership Workshop,” p. 15; “Projected Average Age of Total BYU Faculty,” 1977-93, BYUA. Associate academic vice-president Noel B. Reynolds recently charged that most “Western universities” have been “so foolishly tolerant as to take into their nest ideologically motivated scholars who do not share the moral code upon which liberal learning is based and who only work for the power necessary to destroy the traditional curriculum and institutional mission and to pervert the university into an instrument of social revolution” (Reynolds, “Morality and the University,” 15 June 1984, p. 2, copy in authors’ possession).