News Story

Dean of Harvard Business School to Be New BYU-Idaho President

Arguably one of the best minds in the business world will be taking the reins at Brigham Young University-Idaho after a long and illustrious career at Harvard University. Gordon B. Hinckley, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, today announced the appointment of Kim B. Clark, dean of the Harvard Business School, as president of Brigham Young University-Idaho in Rexburg.

President Hinckley made the announcement from the Conference Center in Salt Lake City in a broadcast to faculty, staff and students at BYU-Idaho. Clark will travel to Rexburg to be formally introduced to faculty and speak with students at a devotional assembly tomorrow morning.

In making the announcement, President Hinckley expressed his confidence in Clark’s leadership: “I know President Clark will carry on the tradition of academic excellence at BYU-Idaho and further the notable achievements made in transitioning to a four-year university.”

Speaking via satellite from Harvard, Clark said: “I am deeply honored to have been chosen for this important role. I am tremendously excited to be joining BYU-Idaho, and I look forward to working with everyone in the community in facing the opportunities that lie ahead.”

Clark’s career at Harvard has spanned almost three decades, with 10 of those years as dean of the business school, a position that highlighted his skills as a leader. Harvard University President Lawrence H. Summers said in a letter released today: “Harvard Business School has thrived under Kim’s creative and energetic guidance. … I hope you will join me in recognizing Kim Clark’s distinguished service to the Business School and the University, thanking him for a job so skillfully done, and wishing him well as he undertakes the new challenge before him.”

Senior Associate Dean Jay Light has known Clark for over 20 years and says his colleague is a visionary and a great leader. “On the one hand he leads by example and by the force of his intellect, but on the other hand he’s a great listener. He’s an interesting combination of the two.”

“He genuinely loves other people, cares about them and wants them to have a good experience,” said Steve Wheelwright, Baker Foundation Professor and senior associate dean for publications. “He has always had this philosophy that education and learning is about seeking truth. He always asks himself, ‘Is this consistent with the gospel? Is this what the scriptures teach? Do I feel good about using this to influence other people?’ He will be wonderful at BYU-Idaho.”

The First Presidency of the Church announced in 2000 that Ricks College would become BYU-Idaho, changing from a two-year junior college to a four-year institution. The transition to a year-round baccalaureate-granting university occurred in the fall of 2001. BYU-Idaho is part of the Church Educational System, which includes Brigham Young University-Provo in Utah, Brigham Young University-Hawaii in Laie, LDS Business College in Salt Lake City and seminaries and institutes of religion throughout the world.

Clark, 56, succeeds Robert M. Wilkes, who was appointed interim president on 1 December 2004 after BYU-Idaho President David A. Bednar was called as an apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Clark has been dean of the faculty at Harvard Business School since 1995 and is also the George R. Baker Professor of Administration. A member of the Harvard faculty since 1978, Clark received bachelor’s (1974), master’s (1977) and doctoral (1978) degrees in economics from Harvard University. During his tenure as dean, Clark has led initiatives in support of the school’s educational program, research efforts and unique residential campus. In addition to his research on modularity in design and the integration of technology and competition in industry evolution, he is the co-author of the book Design Rules: The Power of Modularity (MIT Press, 2000).

As a young man, Clark served the Church as a missionary in Germany. He has since served in a variety of offices, including bishop, elders quorum president, stake high councilor and Scoutmaster.

Clark is a westerner, having grown up in Washington and Utah. He and his wife, Sue, are the parents of seven children and have seven grandchildren.

President Clark will officially step down as dean of Harvard Business School on 31 July 2005 and assume his responsibilities at BYU-Idaho shortly thereafter.

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