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Idaho State University, College of Southern Idaho sign MOA to provide more higher education opportunities to Wood River Valley

December 3, 2009
ISU Marketing and Communications

Idaho State Provost Gary Olson and College of Southern Idaho Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer Jeff Fox signed a formal Memorandum of Agreement Wednesday, Dec. 2, in a ceremony held at CSI's Blaine County Center in Hailey.

The two institutions agreed to collaborate on a range of academic programs to be offered in the Wood River Valley.

"ISU is committed to offering high-quality academic programs in the Wood River Valley, and we are delighted to partner with CSI to serve the needs of the residents of the area," said Provost Olson. "We hope to expand our presence in the region as we meet the specific needs of the citizens there."

ISU Provost Olson, left, and CSI Executive Vice President Fox signing MOA.The memo-signing ceremony was part of a daylong series of events during which ISU officials addressed community leaders and interested citizens and described potential programs to be held in the region.

"We’ve resurrected a partnership that we’re both interested in that will increase opportunities for students of the College of Southern Idaho and Idaho State University, and increase our abilities to offer higher education opportunities, from freshmen to graduate students, in the Wood River Valley,&t; said Jeff Fox, executive vice president and chief academic officer at the College of Southern Idaho. "We’re committed to providing support, services and partnership to ISU where needed."

ISU Business Dean Ken Smith making presentation on ISU executive MBA program at a meeting in the Wood River Valley.Ken Smith, dean of ISU's College of Business, gave presentations on an Executive Masters of Business Administration degree that his college hopes to begin next fall. Audience members responded to his presentations enthusiastically, and several volunteered to help recruit students. Jack Newsome, associate dean of ISU's College of Education, described graduate programs that area educators would be able to enroll in. Provost Olson addressed the various audiences and pledged ISU's commitment to the region.

"We will work closely with CSI officials and listen to the residents of the area to provide the best possible programs to our students," added Olson.

State Representative from District 25 Wendy Jaquet played a key role in helping to strengthen ISU's presence in the region. During a reception held at the Sun Valley Inn, Provost Olson publicly applauded Jaquet for her leadership in helping to enhance higher education in the Wood River Valley.

"Representative Jaquet deserves our recognition and appreciation for helping to make this all possible," he told the crowd.

The agreement establishes that CSI will offer undergraduate courses and ISU will offer upper-level and graduate classes and programs in the area. Both institutions will help each other to make programs possible.

ISU officials also had productive talks with Lonnie Barber, superintendent of the Blaine County School District, about enhancing the partnership between that school district and ISU, Olson said.

CSI operates the Blaine County Center in Hailey at the Blaine County Community Campus located at 1050 Fox Acres Road. The CSI Blaine County Center, which includes two telecommunication classrooms, promotes higher education and lifelong learning programs in the Wood River Valley. Students there have had the opportunity to work toward an associate's degree and prepare to transfer to a four-year institution. The new CSI-ISU agreement will greatly expand those opportunities.


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