President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Elder Kim B. Clark, Elder Dallin H. Oaks and President Clark G. Gilbert attended a press conference on February 7, 2017, at 10 a.m., where it was announced that the Church Education System was going to start BYU Pathway Worldwide, according to a Mormon Newsroom livestream. The news conference was held in the Church Office Building in Salt Lake City.
President Gilbert, currently the president of BYU-Idaho, will be the commissioner overseeing the BYU-Pathway Worldwide school, and this program will be located in Utah.
The institution will have responsibility for all online certificate and degree programs offered by the Church Educational System. Pathway Worldwide is a new global higher-education program, and it will expand it to the Church’s system of private universities.
A very successful Pathway program was spearheaded by BYU-Idaho.
An estimated 37,000 students are currently enrolled, with that number expected to increase greatly, President Uchtdorf said.
The program will continue to be organized and conducted in LDS institutes and meetinghouses, providing an environment of faith based in the gospel of Jesus Christ, President Uchtdorf said.
Pathway has been able to grow because of the youth and the resources of the Church worldwide, he said, calling the Pathway program “a hidden treasure in the Church now is the right time” for increased, worldwide expansion.
Gilbert was named the 16th president of Brigham Young University-Idaho in April 2015. Gilbert left a Harvard Business School position in 2006 to help create the basis of the Pathway program at BYU-Idaho, later becoming an associate academic vice president overseeing online teaching and Pathway. “He’s kind of the father of the Pathway program,” President Uchtdorf said. He will move into his new position over the Pathway program on April 10, 2017, following the conclusion of the current semester on April 7.
Later Tuesday afternoon at a devotional at the university in Rexburg, Elder Oaks announced a new BYU-Idaho president. The new president is Henry J. Eyring, son of Henry B. Eyring and Kathleen Johnson Eyring.
Eyring first came to Rexburg as a young boy when his father, President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency, was appointed president of Ricks College in 1971. He received an undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University in geology in 1985 and, four years later, earned MBA and JD degrees, also from BYU.
Eyring worked for nearly a decade as part of a management-consulting firm, Monitor Group. In 1998, Eyring became director of BYU’s MBA program, where he remained until his call to serve as president of the Japan Tokyo Mission from 2003-2006.
Eyring returned with his family to Idaho in 2006, where at BYU-I he became the school’s associate academic vice president, responsible for outreach and online learning. He later served as the school’s advancement vice president. In July 2015, Eyring became the BYU-Idaho academic vice president (Deseret News).