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Question #90546 posted on 11/30/2017 6:02 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Can a woman be the president of a Church-affiliated university (i.e. BYU, BYU-I, BYU Hawaii, etc.)?

-not a man-hating byu feminist


Dear Not a Feminist? Or Maybe Not a Man-Hater?

Wait, are you a BYU feminist who doesn't hate men, or are you not a feminist, and you assume that all feminists are man-haters? If it's the latter, I'm giving you some serious side eye right now.

In any case, the answer is yes! A woman can indeed by president of a church-affiliated university. It's an academic position, not a priesthood one.

I originally heard this from my women's history professor in fall 2016, when she said that when the BYU Board of Trustees was considering a replacement for President Samuelson, they considered several female candidates. I emailed her to ask for more sources on this, and she said it was in a University-issued statement that unfortunately, I have been unable to find. I did find this newspaper article that gives a pretty good review of the history of women in leadership positions at BYU, though. It includes a quote from BYU's Media Relations Manager/Information Manager, Todd Hollingshead, who, concerning the search for a new president, said: "The search committee, appointed by the university's board of trustees [including several LDS apostles], considered many outstanding, well-qualified individuals including internal and external candidates, both men and women, from academe and industry." That seems to be the most official source I can find, but it's good enough for me.

Sorry for keeping this over so long. I kept hoping to find a super duper official source, but I finally decided it was better to just give you an answer.