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Posted 26 Mar 2001   For week ended March 09, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 09Mar01

By Kent Larsen

Re-evaluation of BYU's Animal Science Means Equitation Dropped

PROVO, UTAH -- Responding to a challenge from LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley, Dean Kent Crookston of the Animal Science department led a review of the department, the most expensive per student on campus, and decided to drop the University's equitation classes, starting in the Fall. President Hinckley had told the department, "We shouldn't have agriculture at BYU unless it is unique in a way that blesses the church."

In many ways the Equitation classes were a mismatch with the department, and in the review, keeping the classes became hard to justify. The classes served mainly a recreational benefit, and most students taking the classes were not even animal science students. They were also expensive classes to maintain, contributing heavily to the high cost of the department.

The department chair David Kooyman says that the department has decided to focus on making an academically strong department that is influential in the developing world and effective in training agriculture-business professionals. As a result of the new focus and President Hinckley's statment, the department's motto has become: put student's first and be unique in a way that blesses the church.

But head equitation instructor Kim Gardner and many of his students were disappointed with the decision. Gardner would like to create an NCAA equitation team at BYU. But Kooyman made it clear that such a team would not be a part of the Animal Science department, and BYU's advancement vice president, Fred Skousen, said that an NCAA team would be a long shot. Since there aren't very many NCAA equitation teams in the west, a BYU team would have to travel long distances to compete, making a program very expensive.


BYU equitation classes face extinction
BYU NewsNet 7Mar01 D3
By Melissa Burbidge: NewsNet Staff Writer


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