President Samuelson: BYU remains strong amid economic challenge

BYU’s future among its peers and within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is secure because of strong support from the university’s Board of Trustees, President Cecil O. Samuelson told faculty, staff and administrators last week.

“[M]y conviction about BYU and its vital place in the economy and future of the Church is absolutely firm,” President Samuelson said.

In an address given at the Annual University Conference in the Marriott Center on Tuesday, President Samuelson detailed several areas in which direction and guidance given by the Board benefit BYU students. President Samuelson said President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the Church’s First Presidency, visited University leaders on Aug. 23.

“He was clear in reaffirming the support the current First Presidency gives to the important work done here,” President Samuelson said. “I think no other university of substance enjoys the consistent support and encouragement that we receive from our Board of Trustees.”

President Samuelson said that while other universities, including in Utah, have responded to difficult economic conditions by laying off faculty and staff or cutting programs and activities, BYU has not done so. Nearly two years ago, BYU enacted a hiring freeze that prevents replacement of most but not all employees who leave the university.

In an interview with The Daily Universe on Friday, President Samuelson reiterated that the Board of Trustees is supportive and interested in BYU but does not micromanage. He said he enjoys the opportunity to meet with members of the Board, which includes the First Presidency, three members of the Quorum of the Twelve, two Church auxiliary presidents and the presidency of the Seventy, on a monthly basis.

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