During President Clark’s time at BYU-Idaho, many members of the faculty had inspiring experiences with him.
“President Clark lives what he teaches,” said Philip Allred, department chair of religious education.
Allred said for many years he has worked side by side with President Clark as they team-taught their religion class on campus about the Latter-day prophets.
Allred said even though he was the official religious teacher in the class, President Clark taught him many things.
“Consistently, President Clark would share things and also teach things in our preparation for our class and also in class discussions that would instruct me,” Allred said. “I was humbled by it.”
Allred said President Clark has a great love for the school and the students at BYU-I.
He said that when it comes to the student Honor Code, President Clark is not one who looks away and carries on.
“I can’t count how many times a student, which has an honor code situation of some sort, which President Clark will wait to converse with them,” Allred said. “But just as the Savior instructed, he is immediate to take that student aside, very kindly and companionably but directly and not in front of others, to speak with them about the honor code.”
Kimball Galbraith, department chair of business management, said President Clark is known for following the learning model in the classrooms on campus.
“The learning model isn’t just for students,” Galbraith said. “It is how he lives. He prepares. He is active during the process, and he follows up.”
Galbraith said President Clark is an incredible clear thinker and is always very well prepared. If an individual was invited to a meeting with him, they better make sure they know their material.
Any material President Clark is given in advance to a meeting, he will know better than the person who gave it to him.
“I have always been impressed with his ability to clearly explain things in any given setting,” Galbraith said. “Through his clear thinking and communication, he is always willing to express his love.”
Jeff Morrin, a faculty member in the Business Management Department, said he started teaching at BYU-I on crutches as he recovered from a leg surgery.
“Four days after my family moved here, I broke my leg,” Morrin said. “One of the first people who stopped by were President Clark and his wife.”
Morrin said the Clarks’ visit was a neat experience for him and his family — especially with a couple who are so busy with so many other things — that they would take the time to come and visit.
Michael Bolingbroke, a faculty member in the Religious Education Department, said he has been teaching at the university for three years and in that time, had personal experiences with President Clark.
Bolingbroke said one day after teaching his classes, he was walking out of the John Taylor Building. As he was walking out, Elder Dallin H. Oaks from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and President Clark were walking in with their wives.
Bolingbroke said he had stopped and stepped to the side to let them pass by. The next thing he knew, Elder Oaks was heading right toward him with an open hand.
“After we greeted, President Clark leaned over and said to me, ‘Good to see you Michael,’” Bolingbroke said. “Out of the hundreds and hundreds of people he had met that day, he remembered my name years after I had been interviewed by him.”
Bolingbroke said he always appreciated the kindness from President Clark.
“He must make some great effort to memorize and to know even a new faculty member person that is one of hundreds on campus,” Bolingbroke said.
Inspires the faculty
“At a lunch-in meeting, the question came up about curriculum and internships in our department,” said Tom Rane, a faculty member in the Home and Family Department. “The question asked was how we can best benefit the students.”
Rane said that President Clark said it was the teachers decision to set the level of experience for their students.
“President Clark told us, ‘You decide the standards you want for your students,’” Rane said. “Hold them to the quality of the experience that you want them to have.”
Kevin Miyasaki, vice president of Student Services and Activities, said he has personally been inspired and is thankful to work closely with President Clark.
“I have particularly seen him where I’ll ask him on his input, and he doesn’t just give an off-of-the-head response,” Miyasaki said. “He will sit for some time before he will respond to make sure he has pondered and properly thought about it.”
Miyasaki said though President Clark thinks clearly, he still makes mistakes.
“I’ve seen moments when he senses he might have offended someone,” Miyasaki said. “He will very privately apologize and make good with that person.”
Morrin said President Clark meets with the faculty many times every year.
“I have appreciated as a new faculty member going to the new faculty breakfast,” Morrin said. “I have really appreciated the advice that he has given to each one of us.”
Tyler Watson, a faculty member in Health, Recreation & Human Performance, said during the faculty meetings with President Clark, one thing has stuck out to him the most.
“As teachers, when we increase our love for students, that doesn’t mean we should lower the bar,” Watson said. “In fact, it is the opposite. We should raise the bar to improve them in the long run.”