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ISU Servel Committee submits written recommendation to University

April 21, 2015
ISU Marketing and Communications

The independent fact-finding committee convened to assess the current condition of the Servel House, ISU’s presidential residence facility, has submitted its final written recommendation to the University.

After thorough consideration, research and discussion, the committee recommends the following order of potential options: 1. New construction, 2. Presidential facility stipend, 3. Purchase of an existing property, 4. Reconstruct, and 5. Status quo.

To download a copy of this report, visit, http://www.isu.edu/temp/Presidential-Residence-Facility-Recommendation.pdf

The committee’s process included reviewing public input received via email, historical documentation related to the current facility and University-provided documentation including a Business Case Summary, 2014 Facility Condition Assessment, Idaho State Board of Education Governing Policies and Procedures, Freedom of Information Act public request response, floor plans, maintenance policies, funding and event information. Additionally, the group gathered information related to peer institutions’ practices.

The committee requested and received additional items, including an independent verification of the cost estimates, a professional appraisal of the Servel House, a legal opinion on how to maintain the historic designation of the Servel House if it is sold and a possible reconstructed floor plan of the Servel House.

“Everyone on the committee was dedicated and fully engaged,” said Valerie Hoybjerg, committee chairperson. “Our discussions have been open, frank, honest and sometimes passionate.”

The committee unanimously agreed that while the Servel House has been well cared for by the University, in its current condition it does not meet business, living and image standards of a presidential residence facility.

In considering the options available, the committee agreed that the key components of the recommendation would include fiscal responsibility for the University, considerations of campus and community constituents, with the underpinning of sound business decisions. The final recommendation represents a compilation of each member’s individual ranking of the five options available.

“The majority of the committee believes a newly constructed presidential residence facility is in the best interest of the University,” Hoybjerg said. “When compared with other options, the majority of the committee members believe it is a more responsible, beneficial and long-term financial investment.”

The 17-member committee included representatives from the University’s alumni, faculty, staff, students and community leaders: Dirk Driscoll, Shelbie Harris, Kim Hirning, Valerie Hoybjerg–committee chair, Sarah Knudson, Amy Manning, Phil Meador, Eva Nye, Dan Ordyna, Tom Ottaway, Jordan Reed, John Sargent, Corey Schou, Jenny Semenza, Syd Sharp, Kyle Son and Josh Tolman.


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