This editorial was published in the Idaho State Journal of Pocatello.


It’s impossible to ignore all of the good things going on at Idaho State University.

The school’s new president, Kevin Satterlee, has engineered a remarkable turnaround for the beleaguered institution, and the Bengal pride that had become a meow is quickly returning to roar status.

We are especially impressed with Satterlee for making good on the promise concerning the Red Hill “I” that he made when he took over the helm at ISU in the summer of 2018. That promise was that he would return the “I” to the hillside after it had been abruptly removed in 2014.

The “I” was one of eastern Idaho’s most recognizable landmarks and was a revered symbol in the ISU community. ...

With all that Satterlee is busy doing at ISU, it might have been easy for him to put the “I” on the backburner. It’s a credit to him that he saw the significance of this symbol, and the fact it has been restored gives Satterlee’s credibility another big boost.

Having the right leader is huge for any organization and ISU is no different. During Satterlee’s less than two years at ISU, he’s proven that he is the right leader for our university, and what’s awesome is that we believe his best years in that role are still ahead of him.

That being said, there is one problem at ISU that Satterlee unfortunately doesn’t have the power to fix.

We’re talking about the lack of any representation for the university on the Idaho Board of Education.

That fix will have to come from Gov. Brad Little, who will soon appoint someone to fill the vacancy on the board created by the retirement of board member Richard Westerberg.

We speak for the entire ISU community when we request that Little appoint someone from the ISU community to replace Westerberg.

It’s been more than 10 years since someone with ties to ISU or from Pocatello was on the board.

The State Board of Education manages Idaho’s universities and colleges, and it’s been a big oversight that no one from the ISU community has been a member for so long.

Prior to Satterlee’s arrival, ISU couldn’t stay out of the media spotlight for all the wrong reasons. The State Board of Education struggled to navigate those difficult times and the end result was that our beloved local university was gaining a very bad reputation on a variety of fronts.

If ISU would have had a voice on the board during those years, we believe it would have helped the board and the university get through those many challenges.

Our message to the governor is that ISU now has an outstanding leader who in a very short time frame has put the school back on track.

We believe our local university has earned the right to have a voice on the Idaho Board of Education.

The governor will find no shortage of qualified and willing applicants in the ISU community to appoint to the board, and he will find that choosing one of them will be as much of a positive for ISU as for the board itself.

If he hasn’t already, we would like to invite Little to review the backgrounds of the board’s current members. Those members have plenty of ties to not only Boise State University and University of Idaho, but also to some of the state’s smaller colleges.

The lack of anything resembling representation for ISU should be an embarrassment to our governor and the board.

Little currently has the opportunity to remedy this problem via his next board appointment and we strongly encourage him to do so.

Satterlee and our local university have earned it.

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