Footprints in Government Lead the Next Generation

PROVO, Utah – Jun 05, 2019 – Rex Facer, a leader in prominent human resource research, presidential appointee, and oversea civic representative, has made a significant imprint in U.S. government. Now, this BYU Marriott associate professor of public service and ethics may change the entire organization of Utah County government as he serves as vice-chair of the newly formed Utah County Good Government Advisory Board.

The Good Government Advisory Board was established by the Utah County Commission to evaluate the most effective form of government to accommodate Utah County's rapid growth. "This is an opportune time for us to be thinking about the right governmental structure to facilitate leading the county forward as it nearly triples in size from a population of 600,000 to 1.6 million," Facer says. Based on the findings and recommendation of the advisory board, Utah County government may no longer operate under its current three-person commission.

Before Facer agreed to be a part of the board, he met with county commissioners to understand their vision and how he could add value. “The task was intriguing,” he says. “But what I found most intriguing was that serving on the board would give me an opportunity to have my students engage in a real-world policy issue.” Once Facer accepted the position, he quickly involved his students by having them assist him in analyzing and interpreting data the board was gathering.

Working in government and education is synonymous to Facer. He began teaching at BYU Marriott in 2002, and his engagement in civic matters goes back even further. He continues to make an impact in both domains today. Facer is best known for his involvement in the American Society for Public Administration, on the Federal Salary Council, with alternative work schedule research, and for his lectures abroad.

During his time in the American Society for Public Administration, Facer assisted President Barack Obama's director of office of personnel management. This resulted in his presidential appointment to the Federal Salary Council, and his work on the council allowed for the establishment of thirteen new pay areas. However, while Facer has extensive and influential knowledge about public finance, his research is focused on human resource management. “I’m passionate about human resource-related issues because that’s where we get the capacity to provide services,” he says. Facer’s four-day workday research resulted in over two hundred cities globally implementing his findings in some way. His expansive understanding of municipal issues and groundbreaking research has allowed him to present his findings to the United Nations as well as to leaders of individual countries such as Taiwan, China, and Kazakhstan.

Upon recognizing his many accomplishments and abundance of research findings, one may assume that Facer has spent his entire life dedicated to government. However, born to a mechanic father and stay-at-home mother in a small town in Oregon, Facer had no idea what he wanted to be when he grew up. “I always thought I would be a lawyer, just because I didn’t know what else I could do,” he says. He would later discover the life-changing impact pursuing an education would have on him.

After enrolling at BYU, Facer’s political science and economics classes, along with advice from an academic advisor, inspired him to major in public policy analysis. “I found a space where I could see myself and where I believed that I could make a difference,” he says. His newfound passion for government led him to pursue an MPA at BYU Marriott and then a PhD at the University of Georgia. During his time at BYU, he married his wife, Teresa, and they now have four children.

Facer says that despite his love for public policy and human resources, his greatest joy comes from empowering his students to make a difference in the world. "Being asked to do something of value always piques my interest," he says, "but more importantly those opportunities have allowed me to have more personal experience with government that I can bring back to the classroom."

Throughout his seventeen years of teaching at BYU Marriott, Facer has become known for his real-world projects and discussions. “At the end of the day,” he says, “what I love more than anything is knowing that I've been able to engage with students who are going to go out and make a difference.”

Rex Facer
Rex Facer, associate professor of public service and ethics at BYU Marriott. Photo courtesy of Rex Facer.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Erika Magaoay