Kevin J Worthen is a law professor and university administrator, who was appointed president of Brigham Young University on March 11, 2014. He will fill the post effective May 1, 2014. Prior to this appointment, he was Advancement Vice President at BYU. Worthen is also an Area Seventy for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Worthen was born in 1956 and raised in Dragerton, Utah. He served as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ in Monterrey, Mexico.
He earned an associate’s degree from the College of Eastern Utah. He supported himself at CEU by working summers as a coal miner at the Plateau Mine in Wattis during the summer months in 1977 and 1978. He received a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, in political science from Brigham Young University. Worthen graduated first in his class and summa cum laude from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at BYU. He is a former Fulbright scholar.
He clerked for Judge Malcolm R. Wilkey on the U. S. Court of Appeals for the D. C. Circuit and for Associate Supreme Court Justice Byron R. White. He practiced law from 1984 to 1987 with the law firm of Jennings, Strouss, & Salmon in Phoenix, Arizona. In 1987, he returned to BYU as a member of the Law School faculty and served as dean of the Law School from 2004 to 2008. He was also the Hugh W. Colton Professor of Law. Worthen served as faculty athletic representative to the NCAA for four years and as chair of the University Athletic Advisory Council from 1992 to 2000.
In June 2008, Worthen was appointed Advancement Vice President at BYU, with responsibility for university relations, communications, athletics, and philanthropies.
Worthen is a recognized expert in American Indian law, and his theories on cultural and ethnic assimilation are also widely repeated. In 1995, he was a contributor to Cohen’s Handbook of Federal Indian Law, and in 2002, served as vice chair of the Utah Constitution Revision Commission.
He has written articles on issues related to Native American law and marriage definition in law. He also wrote an article entitled “The NCAA and Religion: Issues of Non-State Governance” that was published in the Utah Law Review.
Worthen and his wife, Peggy, have three children and one grandchild, and live in Provo, Utah.