Franklin S. Harris
|Franklin S. Harris|
Harris pictured in The Banyan 1923, BYU yearbook
Utah State University
|Preceded by||Elmer George Peterson|
|Succeeded by||Louis Linden Madsen|
Brigham Young University
July 1921 – June 1945
|Preceded by||George H. Brimhall|
|Succeeded by||Howard S. McDonald|
August 29, 1884|
|Died||April 18, 1960
Salt Lake City, Utah
His administration was the longest in BYU history and saw the granting of the first master's degrees. Under his administration the school moved towards being a full university. He set up several colleges, such as the College of Fine and Performing Arts with Gerrit De Jong as the founding dean.
Harris was an agricultural scientist, holding a doctorate in agronomy from Cornell University. He had served as the agriculture department head and head of the experiment station at Utah State Agricultural College and left BYU to become president of that institution.
Harris was born in Benjamin, Utah Territory, United States. In the 1890s his family moved to the Mormon colonies in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Harris did his early studies at BYU before going on to receive his doctorate from Cornell. His second son Chauncy Harris, born in 1914, became a geographer.
Harris authored four books: The Principles of Agronomy, 1915; The Young Man and His Vocation, 1916; The Sugar Beet in America, 1918; and Soil Alkali, 1920. He also wrote articles for scientific journals and contributed bulletins to the Agricultural Experiment Station.:27
In 1920, Harris was working as director of the Utah State Agricultural Experiment Station and was also head of the department of zoology and Entomology at Utah State Agricultural College (USAC).:14 Although he held these administrative positions at USAC and was already the president of the American Society of Agronomy, the General Church Board of Education offered Harris the opportunity to take George H. Brimhall's place as president of Brigham Young University. After a thinking about his decision for a week or so, he accepted the offer on April 22, 1921.:19,27
Even before officially becoming president, Harris began to put his plans in motion. He submitted a plan of organization that suggested adding the Extension and Research Division to the University, which was approved.:31 He also began to recruit professors who had completed their doctorate degrees and well-known LDS scholars to join the faculty at BYU.:35
One of Harris's first announcements on coming to campus was a need to make BYU a center of religious scholarship and a desire to have a broad spectrum of religious books in the library. Just as the BYU presidents before him, Harris continued to differentiate and better organize the different collegiate subjects at the university and to separate the colleges, the normal school, and the training schools.:35
Harris began instituting special lectures on campus from LDS General Authorities relating to a variety of different topics such as religion, science, industry, etc.:40 He also instituted the school's radio program that extended to all inter-mountain states. President Harris contributed to the Improvement Era, the LDS Church magazine, along with other important members of the BYU administration.:58,59 He also took the initiative to visit different parts of the continental United States, Hawaii, Japan and other countries in order to share information about his studies of soil alkali. Prompted by these trips, Harris extended his trip in order to travel around the world for the Church and the University. He not only shared his own educational knowledge at universities, but gathered information about the practices of other educational institutions around the world. While travelling, the church asked him to check-in on the LDS church members in Syria and report back to the First Presidency.:77
The first building constructed on BYU campus during Harris's administration was the Heber J. Grant building which at that point was a library. This was the first BYU building built as a library, but it soon became too small to hold all the books that the University acquired. The building was dedicated in 1925.:64
In June 1945 Harris left BYU to assume the presidency of Utah State Agricultural College.
Other church service
- Bergera, Gary James; Priddis, Ronald (1985). "Chapter 1: Growth & Development". Brigham Young University: A House of Faith. Salt Lake City: Signature Books. ISBN 0-941214-34-6. OCLC 12963965.
- Winters, Charlene (Fall 1998). "Franklin S. Harris". BYU Magazine. Retrieved 2009-12-10.
- Jenson, Andrew. "HARRIS, Franklin Stewart," Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret News Press, 1936) Vol 4, p. 240
- Mikesell, Marvin W. (2004). "In Memoriam: Chauncy Dennison Harris (1914-2003)". Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 94 (4): 982–991. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8306.2004.00444.x.
- Wilkinson, Ernest L. (1975). Brigham Young University: the first one hundred years. Provo Utah: Brigham Young University Press. p. 0-8425-0708-6.
- Wilkinson, Ernest L., BYU: The First 100 Years (Provo: BYU Press, 1975) Vol. 2, p. 240
- Rubinstein, Joshua; Naumov, Vladimir Pavlovich (2005). Stalin's Secret Pogrom. Yale University Press.
- Franklin S. Harris at Find a Grave
- Franklin S. Harris correspondence, UA 96 at L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Brigham Young University
- Pamphlets and articles mentioning or by Franklin S. Harris, UA 1106 at L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Brigham Young University
Elmer George Peterson
|President of Utah State University
Louis Linden Madsen
George H. Brimhall
| President of Brigham Young University
July 1921 – June 1945
Howard S. McDonald