Position Details

The Idaho State Board of Education and the Idaho State University community invite nominations and applications for the position of president. The State Board has charged the president search committee to identify inspired and innovative leadership to carry out the university’s mission and core directions in learning and discovery; access and opportunity; health sciences; and community engagement and impact. The successful candidate will succeed Dr. Arthur C. Vailas, who has served since 2006 and is retiring effective June 17, 2018.

Founded in 1901, Idaho State University is a Carnegie-classified doctoral research and teaching university. The university’s main campus is located in Pocatello, Idaho, with significant learning and research campuses located in Meridian, Idaho Falls, and Twin Falls. An outstanding faculty, staff, and administrative team numbering 1,994 guide 12,505 undergraduate and graduate students. Student-athletes, the Bengals, compete in NCAA Division I athletics as a member of the Big Sky Conference. The university has a $347 million budget. Idaho State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and by program-related accrediting agencies.

The new president should arrive with staying power and look forward to a long-term commitment to the university and its several campus communities. It is critical that the president be an effective, innovative planner and prepared to contribute to and carry out the university’s 2018-22 strategic plan with leadership, insight, and vision. The president must articulate a keen understanding of ISU’s position and advancement as a doctoral research university. This individual must be an exceptional communicator and nimble thought leader, one who is able to manage change sensitively and with absolute integrity. 

The ideal candidate should have characteristics that address the following: 

  • Involved and strong advocate for all students: 
    • Student-centered learning 
    • Student wellness 
    • Student support services 
    • Student athletics;
  • Solid record of successfully speaking for and implementing diversity and inclusion initiatives among students, faculty, and staff;
  • Understanding of recruitment methods, retention, and enrollment management;
  • Ability to diversify revenue sources with skills in financial management, budget allocation, and resource generation through vigorous fundraising;
  • Genuine appreciation for the work, worth, and contributions of faculty, staff, and administrators in the success of the university;
  • Ability to embrace and engage in a transparent, collegial, and collaborative governance style;
  • Inspiring team player and team builder with substantial organizational management skills;
  • Champion of Idaho State University with all stakeholders, including the city, state legislature, tribal leaders, business, K-12, statewide higher education, and the state’s residents; 
  • Appreciation for and ability to engage active alumni and foundation associations; 
  • Bridge-builder and unifier of people and places on behalf of the university;
  • Excellent listening and communication skills with the ability to practice an open-door, open-mind style;
  • Willing partner on a statewide team, working closely with the State Board of Education, Board staff, and colleague presidents;
  • Progression of teaching and senior-level higher education leadership experience (preferred);
  • Earned doctorate/terminal degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education (highly preferred).

Application, Nominations, and Inquiries

The candidate must be able to make complex decisions for the common good of the university and its students, as well as have the ability to manage diverse relationships, build consensus, and practice unquestionable integrity. To assure best consideration, applications and nominations should be received by January 5, 2018. The application must include a letter of interest of not more than three pages; a current résumé (or curriculum vitae); and the names of five professional references with each person’s position, office or home address, e-mail address, and telephone numbers.

Applications will remain confidential through the finalist stage. References will not be contacted without prior authorization from the applicant. Following campus visits by finalists, the State Board of Education will conduct interviews and make the final selection. The new president will assume office in summer 2018.

The search is being assisted by James McCormick and Janice Fitzgerald, Executive Search Consultants, AGB Search. Nominations and applications should be sent electronically (MS Word or PDF Format) to Additional university information may be found at The consultants may be contacted at or

Idaho State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. We have an institution-wide commitment to inclusion and diversity and encourage all qualified individuals to apply. EEO Minority/Female/Disabled/Veteran institution/Veteran’s preference. Upon request, reasonable accommodations in the application process will be provided to individuals with disabilities.


Idaho State University’s Jeanne Clery report, federally required reporting, provides crime, arrest and fire statistics for the previous three years that occurred on campus, in certain off-campus buildings owned or controlled by Idaho State University; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies about alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, personal practices, disciplinary procedures, fire safety and other matters. This report can be accessed on the following website: