I've been waiting for someone to start a thread on this topic. Back in April the Maxwell Institute issued a revised mission statement, which reads in part:
As a research community, the Institute supports scholars whose work inspires and fortifies Latter-day Saints in their testimonies of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and engages the world of religious ideas.
I wondered then if that was an early indication of a change in emphasis. Then a few weeks ago I learned that the Mormon Studies Review (and some of the other journals?) had been moved to the University of Illinois press, I believe. In Peterson's essay in the Interpreter he quotes Elder Holland as saying:
"In the spirit of full disclosure, you should know that initially I was against any proposal to do at BYU what was called Mormon studies elsewhere because I knew what Mormon studies elsewhere usually meant."
So I too have been wondering if this is yet another example of the pendulum swinging from one side to the other.