ROTC may move from BYU to UVU after colonel bristles at Honor Code

Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune Trevor Jax, and other members of the BYU Air Force ROTC, display an American flag before the game against USU at LaVell Edwards Stadium Friday October 5, 2012.

The Air Force ROTC program at Brigham Young University might take flight — to Orem.

Discussions are underway about moving the program from the Provo school to state-run Utah Valley University after an Air Force colonel's refusal to follow BYU's Honor Code.

BYU is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Students and faculty are required to adhere to prohibitions against alcohol, drugs, coffee, premarital sex and other activities contrary to the beliefs of the faith. The U.S. military assigns instructors to ROTC programs.

Col. Timothy Hogan, commander of Detachment 855 of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps at BYU, is not LDS. Hogan told BYU's student newspaper that his unwillingness to sign the Honor Code is forcing the program to move to UVU.

"I told the (university) president in an interview that I would happily abide by the Honor Code on campus, in uniform and on duty, but if I wanted to have a cup of coffee at my house, they said, 'No, that's not acceptable,' " Hogan told the The Daily Universe in an article it published online Thursday.

Hogan is on a three-year assignment from the Air Force, and BYU did not approve a request to waive the Honor Code requirements, he said.

BYU "didn't recognize me as a professor," Hogan told the paper. "They wouldn't allow me to instruct, and that's one of the requirements for me as the commander."

On Friday, Hogan confirmed to The Salt Lake Tribune his statements to the student paper. Defense Department spokesman Lt. Col. Myles Caggins told The Tribune via email that the schools and the department are reviewing "all available options in order to reach a mutually beneficial agreement."

Layton Shumway, a spokesman for UVU, said there has been "informal discussion" about moving the detachment to UVU — 4 miles from the BYU campus.

"The issue rests primarily with the Department of Defense," Shumway said.

BYU and UVU already share the Air Force ROTC program. The detachment has 29 UVU students and 121 from BYU.

Such arrangements are common among colleges and universities in proximity to one another. The University of Utah and private Westminster College, for example, share an Army ROTC program, with Westminster students driving up 1300 East in Salt Lake City to attend classes and training at the U.

It was unclear Friday whether only Hogan and his offices would move or if firearms and other training equipment belonging to the detachment could also shift to UVU.

Hogan arrived at BYU in the summer. According to biographies online, he is an Air Force Academy graduate whose service record includes 20 years flying the ground-attack A-10 jet, including deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.