President Cecil O. Samuelson has appointed James D. Gordon III as assistant to the president for planning and assessment at Brigham Young University. Gordon will replace Gerrit Gong who was named to the First Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during the Church’s April general conference.
Gordon, whose appointment is effective June 1, is currently the Marion B. and Rulon A. Earl Professor of Law at the J. Reuben Clark Law School at BYU. He has served as associate academic vice president for faculty at BYU and as an associate dean and interim dean of the law school.
“In addition to being a popular teacher and an excellent scholar, Jim is highly regarded for his wise and discerning leadership,” said President Samuelson. “His years of administrative experience and scholarship suit him well for this position, which manages the accreditation process for the university. He is an expert on matters pertaining to religious freedom. Through the years he has helped BYU address issues regarding our mission to develop students of faith, intellect and character.”
The President also noted that Gordon has been an exemplary university citizen, participating on numerous university committees and willingly serving as an interim dean of the law school.
In making this announcement, President Samuelson paid tribute to Elder Gong and expressed appreciation for his years of service to the university. “Gerrit has been a unique treasure at BYU,” said President Samuelson. “He brought significant experience in planning and assessment to the university and has served with keen effectiveness. He is known as both a faithful man and a learned man, having excelled as a scholar with unwavering faith and devotion. Although he certainly will be missed at BYU, we know he will provide great service in his new assignment.”
Gordon is well loved by his students for his respectful but often humorous perspective on the law. He has received the university’s Abraham O. Smoot Citizenship Award, as well as a number of teaching awards. He has published numerous articles in law journals, with his scholarship being primarily in the areas of religious freedom, contracts, securities regulation and legal education.
Gordon received a bachelor’s degree in political science at BYU and a juris doctorate at the University of California at Berkeley. He clerked for Judge Monroe G. McKay of the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals and then practiced law in Salt Lake City before his appointment at BYU.