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New BYU-Idaho president predicts steady upward course

If you’re looking for any sudden big changes with Clark Gilbert at the helm of BYUI, you’ll be disappointed. He’s more in a listening and learning mode right now.

“I don’t expect any dramatic changes,” Gilbert said. “We will continue to innovate and grow as is our charge.”

It’s a big job. Enrollment for the semester that just ended with about 17,000. But BYUI has a three track system where students go two of the three semesters, so more can be served. When you add the off-track students and the on-line students the total students served is about 42,000 and it could grow more.

“We’re growing because there’s a need there all across the LDS church of young students who share a common faith background who want to gather and grow spiritually and educationally and we have to provide ways of doing that,” Gilbert said. “I think about these students the way I think about my children and have that concern, and hope, and desire for them to be successful.”

Gilbert’s wife, Christine, talked about their children at the news conference.

“I anticipate that most of my attention will go to my family and to my husband definitely, but I also know that we’ll be very involved in campus together,” Christine Gilbert said.

President Gilbert also talked about balancing his job as president with family responsibilities.

“There’s a real importance in creating boundaries that protect a family, whether it’s having dinner together, or gathering for family home evening, or just having individual time with each of your children,” Gilbert said.

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