Thursday, October 06, 2005


BYU is gearing for re-accreditation in 2006. If you have ever been curious about how BYU would describe itself, now is your chance to find out. The draft for review and comment is now available.

Highlights from the (6 page) executive summary include:
"BYU is located 45 miles south of Salt Lake City, Utah, on what many feel is an attractive, well-maintainted, and well-furnished 560-acre, 3319-building campus." They got that right. In all my travels to various universities in the United States and Europe, I am yet to see a campus more beautiful than BYU. Of course, Cambridge University has better architecture, but BYU has better grounds and interior space and isn't entangled in a city. Ok, our architecture is mostly terrible, but the grounds and setting are perfect.

"The university provides direct financial support for research and creative work" Got that right too. Internal money at BYU is wonderful and allows the faculty to pursue low-cost high-risk research because they don't need to follow funding trends at the national level so closely.

"Assets are more than ten times greater than liabilities" Didn't know that, but interesting.

"One need not be a member of the [LDS] church to apply or be admitted to BYU. However, approximately 98 percent of BYU students are church members. The remaining 2 percent come from more that 20 other faith traditions. Multicultural students compose 9 percent of BYU's daytime student body" No surprises there. One needn't walk for long the BYU sidewalks to figure that out.

From the table on page XIV we find that the average GPA for admitted freshmen is 3.73, the average ACT score is 27.15 and the average freshman has passed 1.4 AP exams. Well, I got admitted to BYU in 1989 on a 3.30 GPA (my senior year was not kind to my GPA) and a 29 ACT score and having passed 3 AP exams (and failed 1 :) ). I suppose I could still make it in today, whew.

"Between 1996 and 2005 BYU hired 704 permanent faculty--over one-third of the total faculty" That's a lot.


Navneet Sharma said...

Hi Mike,

Interesting post...

The most interesting part, in my opinion, is the "internal money". I think it's great if researchers do not have to depend on national funding. It makes it easier to take risks in research and actually do what one finds most interesting.

My personal experience: I had to choose neuroscience over cancer research (my primary interest) because of the whole funding issue.

Although I think 'now' that neuroscience has much more to offer in terms of future research since cancer is quite saturated.

Have fun,

Mike Jones said...

Yeah, its an interesting dilemma. Because often there's a very good reason why the big funders are funding a certain topic and that reason is usually that the topic is important and ripe for a breakthrough. I've enjoyed doing what I want and chasing money in ways that make sense without the full pressure of little or no money.

I didn't fully see the implications of the internal money thing until I interviewed and one of the senior faculty pointed it out to me.

Take care,

Neha Rungta said...

The only risk I percieve of the whole internal funding situation is if one is not careful there is the risk of being complacent and not agressively pursuing avenues for funding.

There are always two sides to a coin. The national funding is "hopefully" trying to focus the money on research areas which have a lot of scope in the future.

Dawnawanna said...

You got a 31 on the ACT, same as me and Jennifer. :)

Mike Jones said...

My little sister correctly points out that I did indeed get a 31 on the ACT and not a 28. I think I got a 28 the first time around. I should also point out that I was the only one to fail an AP exam in my family and I was the only one to get a 5 on the AP biology exam. I was the Ty Detmer of AP exams in the Jones family. He had the most interceptions and the most touchdowns. I had the most 5's and the most 2's.

Dawnawanna said...

Well, it helps if you stay awake for the exams. :)