Summarized by Kent Larsen
Ricks to Become 4-year, BYU-Idaho
Ricks Press Release 21Jun00 D3
REXBURG, IDAHO -- The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints and the Board of Trustees of Ricks College announce that
Ricks College will change from its present two-year junior college status to
a four-year institution. The new four-year school will be known as Brigham
Young University-Idaho, with the name change designed to give the school
immediate national and international recognition. The memory of Thomas E.
Ricks will continue to be appropriately honored and perpetuated.
This change of status is consistent with the ongoing tradition of evaluation
and progress that has brought Ricks College from infant beginnings to its
present position as the largest privately owned two-year institution of
higher education in America. With some additions and modifications, the
physical facilities now in place in Rexburg are adequate to handle the new
program. Undoubtedly, some changes to the campus will be necessary. However,
they will be modest in nature and scope.
BYU-Idaho's move to four-year status will be phased in over a period of time
and accomplished in such a way as to preserve the school's autonomy and
identity. Adjustments to its mission will be minimal. The school will have a
unique role in and be distinctive from the other institutions of higher
education within the Church Educational System. For the immediate future,
the president of BYU-Idaho will report directly to the Commissioner of the
Church Educational System.
BYU-Idaho will continue to be teaching oriented. Effective teaching and
advising will be the primary responsibilities of its faculty, who are
committed to academic excellence.
The institution will emphasize undergraduate education and will award
baccalaureate degrees; graduate degree programs will not be offered. Faculty
rank will not be a part of the academic structure of the new four-year
BYU-Idaho will operate on an expanded year-round basis, incorporating
innovative calendaring and scheduling while also taking advantage of
advancements in technology which will enable the four-year institution to
serve more students. In addition, BYU-Idaho will phase out its involvement
in intercollegiate athletics and shift its emphasis to a year-round activity
program designed to involve and meet the needs of a diverse student body.
Of necessity, the new four-year institution will be assessing and
restructuring its academic offerings. Predictably, the school will need to
change and even eliminate some long-standing and beneficial programs as the
school focuses upon key academic disciplines and activities.
Specific programmatic details about and time lines for the change are
presently being worked out. These details, which will be discussed with and
approved by the Board of Trustees, will be announced at appropriate times in