Prestige And Money Can’t Compete

by | Aug 23, 2005

Associated Press: Getting a 34-year Harvard man to abandon one of the nation’s most prestigious business schools for an Idaho church college seems like a task that would demand divine revelation.


For Kim Clark, who left his post as Harvard Business School dean last week, it came down to the next best thing.

A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Clark took a call in May from Gordon Hinckley, the 95-year-old president of the Mormons. Hinckley asked the economist to head Brigham Young University-Idaho, in Rexburg, which just five years ago was a two-year junior college.

“You have to appreciate what this is like,” the 56-year-old Clark said. “We behold him (Hinkley) to be a prophet. Imagine yourself getting a call from Moses.”

Clark’s move, viewed from inside the church, could be seen as a promotion: Some say this establishes Clark, a former Mormon bishop, as a rising star. His predecessor as university president, David Bednar, was named in 2004 to the “Quorum of the 12 Apostles,” a church governing body considered by Mormons to have the same authority as the 12 Biblical apostles.

Clark earned $407,000 a year as HBS dean. BYU-Idaho officials won’t say how much he’ll earn in Rexburg.