“I have loved (my time here),” said Marc Skinner, the chair of BYU-Idaho’s Communication Department.
After working at BYU-I for the past five years, Skinner and BYU-I will part ways at the end of the semester. Skinner accepted a new position at the University of Idaho and will begin in January 2024.
Throughout his career, Skinner has primarily worked in higher education. However, teaching wasn’t always his post-undergraduate aspiration. Originally, Skinner planned on attending law school.
But the trajectory toward law school shifted, leading him down a different professional path, one closely intertwined with the world of academia. Following some reconsideration of his decision to pursue law school, Skinner opted to defer his plans for a year.
During this period of reflection, he was enrolled in a few classes, and an unexpected opportunity presented itself — Skinner was invited to teach a speaking class, and discovered a genuine passion for teaching.
Instead of proceeding with law school, Skinner graduated with a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Idaho in 1995. Since then, he spent almost all of his professional career working for either the University of Idaho or BYU-I.
Skinner began working at BYU-I in 2008 as a faculty member, and later, he helped the development of the interdisciplinary studies major.
“I work with amazing people,” Skinner said. “I love the students and I feel like I’ve learned a lot in the four years as department chair.”
In 2015, Skinner accepted a job in Idaho Falls with the University of Idaho. In 2018, Skinner returned to BYU-I as a professor once more, and then became the Communication Department chair one year later.
Skinner gave insight for students who may be struggling with finding their purpose on campus. He said that while students may not always know exactly what they want, it is okay; there’s no need for a student to feel alone because they are not.
“I think it is wise to have a trajectory toward what you want to do,” Skinner said. “I think the Lord loves and appreciates that. Sometimes life will bring different challenges or different opportunities that you don’t see right now. So you need to be open to that because sometimes, plan B is what the lord wants and plan B is better for you.”