Jack R. Wheatley, Chair
Jack R. Wheatley, a West Point graduate and retired contractor, is managing general partner in WSJ Properties, a development company, in Palo Alto, California. A commercial builder and real-estate developer, Wheatley has built many impressive structures from research laboratories at Stanford University to the Oakland California Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and won a national landscaping award from President Jimmy Carter in 1977. Wheatley has served as city council member and mayor of Palo Alto. Wheatley has been president of the Stanford Area Council of Boy Scouts of America, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the Stanford University Hospital and San Jose’s Tech Museum of Innovation. He received the Inspiration award from The Tech Museum of Innovation of San Jose and the Philanthropist of the Year award from the city of San Jose. He and his wife, Mary Lois, presided over the Colorado Denver Mission from 1978 to 1981. Wheatley’s contributions to BYU include helping to design and construct the Museum of Art and donating funds for several acquisitions, including Carl Bloch’s Christ Healing the Sick at Bethesda and a portrait by John Singer Sargent. He also helped lead the Lighting the Way fundraising campaign in the 1990s, which brought $400 million to the university in six years. Wheatley currently serves on the executive committee of the BYU President’s Leadership Council as co-chair. Wheatley and his wife, Mary Lois, have six children, twenty-nine grandchildren, and eleven great-grandchildren.
Merrill J. Bateman, Vice Chair
Merrill J. Bateman formerly served as president of Brigham Young University from 1996 to 2003. He previously served as dean of the Marriott School of Management from 1975 to 1979. He lectured in economics at the University of Ghana, as an assistant professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy, and as professor at BYU. From 1971 to 1975, Bateman worked as an executive with Mars, Inc., in England and the United States. He has headed his own consulting and capital management companies.
He has held extensive leadership and service positions within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including as Presiding Bishop and an elder in the Second and First Quorums of the Seventy. From 2007 to 2010 he served as president of the Provo, UT temple. He is currently an emeritus general authority of the Church.
Bateman holds an undergraduate degree from University of Utah and a PhD in Economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was a Danforth Fellow (1960-1964) and Woodrow Wilson Fellow (1960-1961). He and his wife Marilyn have seven children and eleven grandchildren.
Alan C. Ashton
As president and co-founder of WordPerfect Corporation, Alan C. Ashton stands as an authoritative yet unpretentious leader. Currently, Ashton’s executive duties focus on designing software that is powerful, yet flexible and easy to use. WordPerfect, the million-dollar product from which the company takes its name, evolves from an idea which originated as early as 1969 when Alan, then a graduate student, submitted two computer projects for possible research – one involving music and the other word processing. His professors opted for the first idea. It was not until nine years later, in 1978, that Ashton received his latent idea and started on the path that eventually led to the number-one-selling WordPerfect 4.2.
In addition to his many corporate responsibilities, Ashton taught Computer Science at Brigham Young University, where he was a full-time professor for fourteen years. There he enjoyed working with students on advanced-degree projects, and his willingness to help others learn prompted BYU’s graduating Computer Science class of 1986 to elect him the Outstanding Professor of the Year. He and his wife, Karen, presided over the Canada Toronto West Mission from 2004 to 2007. He also founded Thanksgiving Point in 1995.
Ashton graduated magna cum laude in Mathematics in 1966 and received his PhD in Computer Science in 1970, both from the University of Utah. A family man at heart, he enjoys spending time with his wife and eleven children in their home in Orem, Utah. Other interests include farming, music – especially the trumpet, and competitive tennis.
Bruce L. Christensen
Bruce L. Christensen served as Interim Dean of Utah Valley University’s School of the Arts from June 2009 through June 2010. He was formerly President of KSL 5 Television and Senior Vice President of Bonneville International Corporation from June 2005 through May 2009. In addition to KSL 5 Television, Christensen was given responsibility for all of Bonneville’s Salt Lake media properties. They include: KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM, FM 100, The Arrow (103.5 FM), and KUTR AM 820 radio stations and Internet sites ksl.com, fm100.com, and thearrow1035.com. Christensen began his duties on the Bonneville senior staff in May of 2000.
He came to Bonneville after a seven-year assignment as Dean of Brigham Young University’s College of Fine Arts and Communications. Christensen served as a member of the Board of Directors of Bonneville International Corporation from 1996 to 2000. Before serving as a Dean at BYU, Christensen was President and CEO of the nation’s Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in Washington, D.C. Christensen began his broadcasting career 42 years ago as a reporter for KSL News.
Christensen is a cum laude graduate of the University of Utah (B.A.) and Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University (M.S.J.).
Sandra Rogers is the international vice president at Brigham Young University. She has responsibility for the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies, the Ambassadorial Visits Program, and BYU’s student abroad programs. In addition, she oversees the university’s Division of Continuing Education. Rogers previously served as the associate academic vice president for International, Distance and Continuing Education. She has broad experience in the international arena. She has studied, served, and worked in countries such as the Philippines, Nigeria, Jordan, and Romania. In addition to serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Philippines, Rogers has worked with the Church’s Humanitarian Services Committee in Africa and Eastern Europe. As a nursing professor, she was asked to serve as a consultant for numerous international programs, including training and development projects funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Rogers also served as dean of BYU’s College of Nursing for six years. Her research has focused on primary health care programs. She earned her doctoral degree from the University of California-San Francisco, specializing in international, cross-cultural nursing. She also holds degrees from the University of Arizona and Brigham Young University.
Brent W. Webb
Brent W. Webb is Academic Vice President and professor of Mechanical Engineering at Brigham Young University. He formerly served as Associate Academic Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies and as Executive Director of the Office of Research and Creative Activities.
Webb joined the Mechanical Engineering faculty at BYU in 1986 and has taught fundamental and advanced courses on thermodynamics, multimode heat/mass transfer, radiation heat transfer, and numerical techniques in heat transfer and fluid flow. A popular and demanding teacher, he has aspired to be a rigorous and energetic learner both in the classroom and the laboratory and has tried to set a similar standard for students.
He has authored or co-authored over 200 technical papers. He has been research advisor for 30 MS and 12 PhD students, and 3 post-doctoral fellows. He has been PI or Co-PI on research totaling some $6 million. He has lectured both domestically and internationally relative to his research work, and his publications have been widely cited in the technical community. Webb is the recipient of the BYU Alumni Professorship (1997-2000), Karl G. Maeser Research and Creative Arts Award (1994), BYU Young Scholar Award (1991-1993), College of Engineering’s Outstanding Faculty Award (1990), and National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award (1986). He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering, and has served as Associate Technical Editor of the Journal of Heat Transfer and the Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer.
Webb holds BS and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Brigham Young University and a PhD from Purdue University.
Charles S. Wheatley
Charles S. Wheatley is Principal at Wheatley Financial Consulting LLC in Salt Lake City.
Wheatley served as Chief Financial Officer and Director of Contracts at Ventera Corporation, a Virginia-based IT consulting company, from 2001 to 2010. He previously worked as Unit Controller for iXL, ACT Networks, Dynatech, and Avery Dennison. He began his career at Ernst and Young where he earned his C.P.A. certification in 1988.
He served as an ecclesiastical representative for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Japan from 1981 to 1982. He was raised in Palo Alto, California as one of six children of Jack and Mary Lois Wheatley. He and his wife Shauna are the parents of four children.
He earned an undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University in Accounting, and later earned an M.B.A. at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.
Kevin J. Worthen
Kevin J. Worthen began serving as the 13th president of Brigham Young University on May 1, 2014. He previously served as BYU’s advancement vice president and as dean of its J. Reuben Clark Law School, where he was the Hugh W. Colton Professor of Law.
President Worthen was born in Dragerton (now East Carbon–Sunnyside), Utah, and grew up in nearby Price. After serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Monterrey, Mexico, he earned an associate degree at the College of Eastern Utah (now USU Eastern). He then received his bachelor of arts in political science and his juris doctorate from BYU.
Following his graduation from the BYU Law School, President Worthen served as a law clerk to Judge Malcolm R. Wilkey of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and Justice Byron R. White of the U.S. Supreme Court. After three years of private practice with the law firm of Jennings, Strouss & Salmon in Phoenix, Arizona, President Worthen joined the BYU Law School faculty in 1987. In 1994, he was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Chile Law School in Santiago. He has published extensively on a number of legal topics, with particular emphasis on federal Indian law and the rights of indigenous peoples.
President Worthen currently serves as an area seventy in the Church of Jesus Christ. He previously served as a stake president, bishop, high councilor, and early-morning seminary instructor. He and his wife, Peggy, are the parents of two sons and one daughter. They have one grandchild.
Gerrit W. Gong
Gerrit W. Gong currently serves as a Seventy, a position of service and leadership within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He previously worked as Assistant to the President at Brigham Young University with responsibility for Planning and Assessment. Gong has served on the Department of Education’s Secretary of Education National Advisory Committee for Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI), as well as for 20 years at the U.S. Department of State and China Chair and Asia Director at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C. His assignments included Personal Advisor to the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court during the Chief Justice’s official China visit, Executive Officer for the China visit of President George H. Bush, and numerous assignments with senior Executive branch, Congressional, and business groups. Gong served at the U.S Embassy in Beijing as Assistant to two U.S. Ambassadors to the People’s Republic of China, and in Washington, D.C. as Assistant to the U.S. Undersecretary of State. Gong holds Ph.D. and Masters of Philosophy degrees in International Relations from Oxford University, England, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. A B.A. graduate of Brigham Young University, where he was a Joseph Fielding Smith Scholar, Gong has researched and/or taught at Oxford University, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Georgetown University, and Brigham Young University. A native of Palo Alto, California, Gong and his wife, the former Susan Lindsay, have four sons.
Jane Clayson Johnson
Jane Clayson Johnson began her career in broadcasting at KSL-TV in Salt Lake City. She is the former co-host, with Bryant Gumbel, of The Early Show on CBS and served as a network correspondent for The CBS Evening News and 48 Hours. At ABC News, Johnson covered national and international stories for World News Tonight with Peter Jennings and Good Morning America. Her many assignments have taken her from Kosovo to Australia to Indonesia and have included the events of September 11th and its aftermath, the 1996 U.S. presidential campaign, and the OJ Simpson civil trial. Since becoming a full-time mother, Johnson has done occasional projects for Discovery Health and National Public Radio. She is a popular speaker around the country and this year published her first book, I Am a Mother. Honored with many journalism awards, including an Emmy and the Edward R. Murrow Award, she is also the recipient of an honorary doctorate degree from Utah State University. A mother of two and stepmother of three children, Johnson and her husband Mark make their home in Boston.