BYU-Idaho students respond to new president; Eyring reveals plans for university

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REXBURG — Brigham Young University-Idaho students are expressing optimism about their new university president.

Henry J. Eyring was officially installed as the 17th president of the university on Tuesday. President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in The First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Henry J. Eyring’s father, presided over the inaugural ceremony.

PREVIOUS STORY: VIDEO CLIPS FROM INAUGURATION OF NEW BYU-IDAHO PRESIDENT HENRY J. EYRING

Therapeutic recreation Sophmore Haylee Hammond said she was around during former President Clark G. Gilbert’s tenure. She said the shift to President Eyring has been a fluid process.

“I was here for President Clark Gilbert, I loved him, and I loved President Eyring. The transition was so perfect. When he was called I just felt so right about it and so peaceful,” therapeutic recreation student Haylee Hammond said.

“I’m excited to see how (Henry J. Eyring) does things new or different from the last president,” mechanical engineering freshman Mitchell Skinner said.

Eyring’s plans for the university

During a press conference after his inaugural address, the new BYU-Idaho president spoke of the concern of retaining freshman students, and the effort to keep tuition rates low.

“Have we designed the curriculum to make it more likely that, that freshman student becomes a sophomore and then goes on to be a graduate?” Eyring said. “It’s a very significant challenge that we’re going to try to address. We don’t want to water down the quality of an education.”

He says he plans on maintaining the tradition of frugality and keeping tuition costs low. He said he admires his predecessors and if there are any changes to be made on campus they would be incremental ones.

“We’ve been blessed by this spirit of pioneer frugality that we’ve just decided we’ll increase the tuition just enough to cover our incremental expenses,” Eyring said. “There’s clearly a tradition to build on along with really focusing on the student.”