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