Sunday, May 26, 2024

From BYU Freshman to University President: The Inspiring Story of Shane Reese

Shane Reese, a statistics professor at Brigham Young University (BYU), is set to become the 14th president of the university, succeeding Kevin Worthen. Reese’s appointment was announced by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles during a campus devotional on May 1, with the change to take effect on July 1.

Reese, who earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at BYU, initially considered leaving the school in 1989 during his freshman year, but was persuaded to stay by Worthen, who was then a law professor at BYU. Reese eventually became a statistics professor at the university and currently serves as its academic vice president.

During his tenure as academic vice president, Reese oversaw the BYU Committee on Race, Equity and Belonging, which recommended the university take steps to address individual and systemic racism. Reese and others have since begun implementing the committee’s 26 recommendations. Reese has also helped guide the university through the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an interview after his appointment was announced, Reese said he intends to maintain Worthen’s emphasis on experiential learning and BYU’s dual heritage of teaching secular knowledge alongside “vital and revealed truths that have been sent to us from heaven.” Reese believes that the university has a clearer sense of mission than most institutions of higher education and sees “so much more opportunity than really issues or challenges ahead for us.”

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