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Part 1. History and Status
Section I. History
C. The Middle Years
Interest in creating a four-year school continued, of course, including such intense efforts in the early 1920’s that the State Board of Education demanded such talk cease. When it did not, and a legislative move was again made in 1925 to create a Pocatello college, ITI President Charles R. Frazier was fired for supporting the four-year concept and for his “failure to work within the guidelines of the board.” The four-year attempts intensified from that point onward, including the appearance of a giant number “4” near the Tech’s “T” on Red Hill in 1926.
The issue of a four-year school was defused in 1927 when the name of the school was changed to the University of Idaho Southern Branch and emphasis was placed on a cultural curricula rather than technical and vocational. The Southern Branch of the University of Idaho had as its educational mission to teach the first two years of college courses as provided by the University of Idaho including courses in such fields as vocational education, science, and literature. It was also in 1927 that the College of Pharmacy was established.
The Legislature also provided that the School of Pharmacy would always meet the standards required by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.
The UISB weathered the Great Depression fairly well, relying on a heavy interest in student recruiting by Executive Dean John Dyer, an outstanding leader who died tragically in a 1933 car crash. Growth continued until World War II. At that time UISB was faced with a tremendous decline in student population but was very fortunate to be chosen as one of several schools to educate members of Navy V-1 and V-2 programs.
It was the existence of that military group, many believe, which can be credited with strengthening the academic program on campus to the point where creation of Idaho State College was nearly assured.
The signing of the Twenty-Ninth Legislature’s bill in 1947 by Gov. C.A. Robins, himself a UISB alumnus, finally created an independent, four-year, degree-granting institution at Pocatello. Divisions within the new college included the College of Pharmacy, the Liberal Arts College and the School of Trade and Technical Education. The Division of Graduate Studies was organized in 1955, the College of Education in 1958 and the Division of Medical Arts in 1961.