President Bateman appoints Noel Reynolds

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    President Merrill J. Bateman has announced the appointment of Noel B. Reynolds as the associate academic vice president for undergraduate studies at BYU. He will replace John S. Tanner, who has been named the new chair of the English Department.

    “Noel Reynolds and John Tanner have both established themselves as fine scholars, teachers and administrators,” Bateman said. “We are fortunate that they are willing to devote exceptional service to the university.”

    A professor of political science, Reynolds received his master’s and doctoral degrees from Harvard University. He has published widely, with an emphasis on legal philosophy and authorship studies.

    At BYU, he has served as the associate academic vice president for University Education and chair of the Department of Philosophy.

    As director of General Education in 1980-81, Reynolds played a key role in designing and implementing BYU’s current GE program. “I now welcome the opportunity to return to my earlier focus on the undergraduate educational programs at BYU,” he said.

    “While BYU already provides a premier undergraduate educational program, there are many important challenges and opportunities yet to be met and pursued. I expect in the near future to see BYU serving the undergraduate needs of the LDS community in more extensive and innovative ways.”

    Reynolds is also known for his research on the Book of Mormon and the electronic publication of the Dead Sea Scrolls. In April, he concluded his service as president of the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies and as director of the Center for the Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts. Daniel Oswald, president and chief executive officer of Multiling International in Provo, has been named as the new president of the foundation.

    A professor of English, Tanner will replace C. Jay Fox as chair of the English Department. Fox is returning to teaching and research.

    “This is a daunting new challenge,” Tanner said. “But I feel excited about returning to my research and teaching, as well as to my colleagues, who as a group are a remarkably caring and competent faculty.

    “I am grateful that the department has recently recommended restructuring, which should make my job as chair easier, and renewed its commitment to the mission and aims of BYU, to which I am also deeply committed and which serve as sound principles on which to build an even stronger department for the next century,” he said.

    A recipient of three major BYU teaching awards — Honors Professor of the Year, an Alcuin Fellowship in General Education and the Cougar Groomer Award — Tanner has been instrumental in streamlining BYU’s curriculum to help students graduate in a more timely manner. During his tenure, he also unveiled BYU’s Summer Visiting Student program, as well as the Freshman Academy. In addition, he was instrumental in developing the aims of a BYU Education document and BYU’s policy on academic freedom.

    A seasoned teacher and writer, Tanner has published and spoken widely on religion and literature. He has been a professor at Florida State University, an instructor at the University of California at Berkeley and a Fulbright Scholar at Pontifica Universidade Catolica de Campinas in Brazil.

    He is the recipient of a James Holly Hanford Award for his book on John Milton, which was published by Oxford University Press.

    Tanner received his doctoral degree from the University of California at Berkeley.

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