The End and the Beginning

Before the risin’ sun, we fly
So many roads to choose
We’ll start out walkin’ and learn to run
And yes, we’ve just begun

After forty years at BYU, Marshall Romney speaks of the program that he will be leaving behind in April by quoting the well-known Carpenters’ song, “We’ve only just begun.”

“I’ve enjoyed the journey and hope they continue onward and upward.”

And what a journey it has been. Romney began working at BYU in 1977. In 2005, information systems separated from accounting and became its own program. Although much of his background was in accounting, Romney sided with the IS program. Since then, he has been on the front lines with his faculty and students helping BYU become one of the most respected IS programs in the nation.

“I think through his leadership he has inspired others in the program to raise the bar in the quality of their work and to be more responsible,” says Greg Anderson, associate teaching professor in the Department of Information Systems.  “He also is a great supporter of the program. Marshall recognizes the value of the program, and he promotes it.”

Marshall and Luana Romney July 2012BYU has been home to Romney over the years as he has taught numerous classes, served on the University’s Faculty Advisory Council, the Marriott School Executive Committee, the Marriott School Evaluation Committee, and numerous other department committees. He has been the department chair for twelve years, not including five years as the information systems group leader before the department’s creation.

“I think he has been a good leader,” says Ray Meservy, an associate professor in the IS Department. “A leader inspires his environment. Depending on how they lead, they can create competition and unfairness, but he has avoided those types of problems. We have built friendships within the department because he has led us in that way.”

Although Romney has served in leadership positions for the majority of his time at BYU, he credits all the success of the program to his fellow faculty members and the students over the years.

“What I would like to be remembered for was that I was a cheerleader on the sidelines helping the faculty and students do well.”

Romney plans to take a few months adjusting to his new life before going on cruises and hopefully serving a mission in the future with his wife.

“You know Moses had to wander around for forty years before he got to the promised land,” Romney says, “I feel like I’ve been in the promised land for forty years, and now I’m wandering into the land of retirement. BYU has been my promised land; I love teaching here. It’s with very mixed emotions that I’m retiring.”

Romney has left a footprint on BYU campus that will long be remembered, but BYU has also left an impression on him.

“I just love being at BYU,” Romney says. “I don’t know how to explain that other than there’s just a special feeling on campus.”