Over the past decade, the Neal A. Maxwell Institute has invested considerable resources in producing high-quality scholarly and faith-promoting books, periodicals, and films. For over forty years, BYU’s Religious Studies Center (RSC) has also published excellent Latter-day Saint scholarship that both educates and inspires. In reviewing their respective roles at BYU, Maxwell Institute executive director Spencer Fluhman and the RSC’s director of publications Thom Wayment discovered a duplication in efforts.
“We asked ourselves, ‘Why maintain two separate production teams at BYU?'” Fluhman said of their early conversations. “We realized a formal partnership potentially could enable our respective campus units to focus on its particular mission and thrive.”
We are pleased to announce a new partnership between the Maxwell Institute and the Religious Studies Center. The Institute’s top-notch production team—managing editor Don Brugger and part-time editor Shirley Ricks—transferred to the RSC on September 1, strengthening their outstanding staff. As the Institute invests more resources in gathering and nurturing disciple-scholars, it will look to the RSC for professional production services. Established by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland during his time as a campus leader in the 1970s, the RSC exists to seek out, encourage, and publish faithful gospel scholarship. Both entities will continue to publish a variety of books and journals under their own imprints with the RSC providing both units with services such as copyediting, proofreading, and typesetting—the technical things that make scholarly publishing possible.
Dean of Religious Education and RSC director Brent Top agrees that this partnership strengthens both units. “We consider this a win-win for both the Maxwell Institute and the RSC,” Top said. “We have complementary missions. In the end, we’ll all be in an even stronger position in providing religious scholarship to both scholars and the Church at large.”
Brugger and Ricks have provided invaluable service to the Maxwell Institute throughout its existence, and even before. Ricks has employed her keen editor’s eye for thirty years. Don Brugger has served as both senior editor and managing editor at the Institute, overseeing projects including the Mormon Studies Review, various Living Faith books, and other publications. Their kindness, competence, and professionalism will be missed at the Institute, but the campus will continue to be blessed by their gifts through their new institutional home at the RSC.