Kevin J. Worthen will become the 13th president of Brigham Young University. His appointment was announced Tuesday morning at a student devotional.
Worthen is a former law professor and the current vice-president of advancement at BYU.
Among his challenges in the new job will be dealing with hundreds of young men and women coming home from missionary service. The change in the age for service to 18 for men and 19 for women meant BYU had a smaller incoming freshman class this year. Worthen thinks those returning missionaries may be better prepared.
“Not everybody takes their freshman year all that seriously before their mission," Worthen told reporters at a news conference following the announcement. "My guess is these young men in particular, as missionaries coming back as freshmen, will be more seriously involved in the academic process than the typical 18-year-old would have been.”
Worthen grew up in Carbon County, where he worked summers as a coal miner before getting bachelor’s and law degrees at B-Y-U. He succeeds Cecil O. Samuelson, who’s been the university’s president since 2003.