updated 6/6/2005 4:08:43 PM ET 2005-06-06T20:08:43

Harvard Business School Dean Kim B. Clark was named Monday as president of Brigham Young University-Idaho, the head of the Mormon church said.

Clark, 56, will step down from his post at Harvard on July 31 to assume the leadership of the church-owned university in Rexburg, Idaho.

The announcement was made in Salt Lake City by Gordon B. Hinckley, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with Clark joining via live video feed from Boston.

Clark said he was honored to be selected for the post, but that it would be difficult to "leave a school that I love." He said he is leaving "one of the great jobs in the world."

Clark is a member of the Mormon church who has held several positions in the church's lay clergy and served a proselytizing mission to Germany.

Hinckley contacted Clark late last month and asked him to consider the BYU-Idaho post.

Clark grew up in Utah and Washington state. He and his wife live in Belmont, Mass.

He received his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from Harvard and has been dean of the business school since 1995. He has been on Harvard's faculty since 1978.

"Kim Clark leaves the business school a stronger institution than he found it," Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers said at a news conference.

Summers said he expected to name an acting dean in the next few weeks, and begin a search for a permanent replacement, considering candidates from within Harvard and outside.

Clark replaces David A. Bednar, who was chosen in October to be a member of the church's leadership council, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

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