The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced the appointment of Elder W. Rolfe Kerr as Church commissioner of education.
Under the direction of the Church Board of Education and Board of Trustees, Elder Kerr will direct the operations of Church higher education institutions, including Brigham Young University, BYU-Idaho, BYU-Hawaii and LDS Business College. He will also have responsibility for seminaries and institutes of religion.
Elder Kerr is currently a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. Prior to his call as a general authority in 1996, Elder Kerr had extensive experience as an educator, having served as Utah commissioner of higher education, as president of Dixie College and in a number of administrative positions at BYU, the University of Utah, Utah State University and Weber State University. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Utah State University and his doctorate degree from the University of Utah.
Elder Kerr will succeed Elder Henry B. Eyring, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who has served as Church commissioner of education for approximately 17 years.
Under Elder Eyring's leadership, the Church Educational System (CES) experienced tremendous growth and change. Seminary and institute enrollment increased 230 percent, driven by increases in international areas where CES operates in approximately 140 countries. Ricks College was renamed BYU-Idaho and changed from a two-year junior college to a four-year university.
Elder Eyring also guided the implementation of a common admissions process for all Church higher education institutions and a shared library system where all library resources are available to each of the campuses.
The First Presidency expressed appreciation and gratitude for Elder Eyring's long years of service and leadership.