Conversations about the religious and spiritual life on the other side of fundamentalism
264:  I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar:  Jan Tyler

264: I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar: Jan Tyler

Jan Tyler has been an active campaigner for women’s rights since the early 1970’s.

Her first job was at Weber State University as the Women’s Dean.  It was there that she met the incoming President, Joseph Bishop.  He became so problematic that she eventually hired a lawyer and took out a successful discrimination case against him.

She was later employed by BYU where she went head to head with Dallin Oaks (the then president) over women’s rights.   She took three top Utah State administrators to court over sex discrimination.  And as the head of the coordinating committee for the Utah International Women’s Year convention in 1975, she stood for women’s rights against a 13,000 strong Mormon contingent who were hell-bent on disrupting the proceedings.

Jan went on to champion the cause of women and Mormon women in one of the most patriarchal and conservative states in the USA.

Her story is one of plucky and determined resolve to support women’s rights in the face of institutions, culture and even her own faith tradition.


  1. robert

    To Gina,

    I would like to E-mail you but I never use Facebook or twitter, is there anyway to do so. I am a 60 yr old South African living here in Salt Lake city with my South African wife for 35 yrs, God help my soul, but not because of my wife. I would like to ask some questions and have a interesting tidbit concerning a special Maori rugby player I saw play, at Ellis park when the All Blacks came over in 1970 at the height of Apartheid , when I was 12 yrs of age.

    A reply would be appreciated.
    Rob Kahn.

  2. Jan Tyler

    Gina, Kia Ora!
    Had no idea you are Maori – when we spoke about a year ago, for your podcast. I performed with the Kia Ora Cultural Group for two years, as an undergrad at BYU. Love the People. Loved the Learnings. Loved the Adoption and Naming Ceremony. Honored and deeply Humbled.

    Sorry, I do not do anything but emails. Please email me. You can update me with where you are on your amazing path.

  3. Chris Burdick

    Dr. Colvin,
    I just listened to your podcast interview of Jan. She had not told me about it. Just like her. I am a close friend of Jan for over 40 years. I met Jan when I was just beginning my sophomore year at BYU and she was a professor. She changed my life in one day when I rode with her from Provo to Weber State for an intercollegiate women’s meeting. I had been raised a devout Mormon and that day I was introduced to women’s right. That started a ten year journey for me related to my membership and belief in the Mormon church. Jan became a close and trusted mentor for the next decade. After I graduated from law school, our relationship changed from mentor-mentee to good, close friends. I have been fortunate to have had her in my life all these years. I so enjoyed your interview. It brought back so many memories.

    I want to suggest that if the podcast is not transcribed that it be transcribed and provided either to Jan or the University of Utah archives where Jan’s papers will be housed. I’m not certain whether Jan has submitted any of her papers, yet. I know they have been working on it.

    I also read a SLT article about your “near” excommunication from the Mormon Church. After nearly 40 years, women are still going through what you went through. That should tell you something about patriarchy and the ability of the Mormon Church to change to adapt. I left the Mormon Church in my late twenties. Never regretted it. It was the most liberating act I have done and brought me a peace that had alluded me until then.

    Interesting journey you are taking and sharing.

    Be safe, healthy and content,
    Chris Burdick (she/her)

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