Idaho State University (ISU) is a public university located in Pocatello, Idaho, United States. ISU is a Carnegie-classified doctoral research high and teaching institution founded in 1901, attracts students from around the world to its Idaho campuses. At the main campus in Pocatello, and at locations in Meridian, Idaho Falls and Twin Falls.
ISU's six colleges offer academic study in the natural and physical sciences, humanities, performing and visual arts, education, engineering, business, pharmacy and technology, with a total of over 285 available programs.
Enrollment for the fall semester in 2011 stood at 14,489 total students, making ISU the second-largest major university in the State of Idaho in terms of full-time enrollment. The student-teacher ratio at ISU is 17:1.
On March 11, 1901, Governor Frank W. Hunt signed Senate Bill 53, thus establishing the Academy of Idaho, contingent upon private land donations being made for its site. Theodore F. Turner, mayor of Pocatello settled the issue, (Battle of the Blocks) of the placement of the academy. The Academy of Idaho was officially opened in Pocatello on May 1, 1901². Theodore Swanson, a member of the board of trustees secured the services of John W. Faris as the first administrator, with the title of principal. Classes officially began in September 1902. By 1910, enrollment had reached nearly 300 students, and the academy had purchased four additional city blocks in Pocatello to help meet its growing needs.
In 1915, the Academy of Idaho was renamed Idaho Technical Institute. The end of World War I brought an influx of students to the school, and enrollment surged to over 1,000. The early 1920s saw the beginning of competition in intercollegiate athletics. At this time the institute adopted the Bengal as the school mascot; head football coach Ralph Hutchinson (1920–27) was an alumnus of Princeton; a school with orange and black theme colors and a tiger mascot.
In 1927 the school was renamed again, this time as the University of Idaho - Southern Branch. In 1947 it was renamed for the fourth time, to Idaho State College and became a four-year school. The following year, enrollment reached 2,000.
During World War II, Idaho was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission.
On April 10, 1952 ten employees of Idaho State College organized the Idaho State College Federal Credit Union with just $5 each, to provide a cooperative system of low-cost loans for coworkers. On October 28, 1963 the Credit Union was renamed the Idaho State University Federal Credit Union to reflect the college’s new name.
In 1963, the school was renamed for the fifth and final time to Idaho State University, reflecting its new status as a full four-year public university. In the ensuing years, ISU continuously expanded both its enrollment and the programs it offered. The presidency of Richard L. Bowen, from 1985–2005, is particularly regarded as an era of growth: as of 2006, ISU had colleges in arts and sciences, business, education, engineering, health, pharmacy, and technology. However, Bowen resigned after a vote of no confidence from the faculty, who were angered by generous pay raises for administration members in the midst of calls for fiscal austerity.
On July 1, 2006, former Vice Chancellor of the University of Houston System and Vice President of the University of Houston Arthur C. Vailas became president of the university, replacing Michael Gallagher—who had served as president on an interim basis since Bowen's retirement in 2005. In February 2011 the Idaho State University faculty voted no confidence in Vailas and called for his resignation. This was also followed by a vote of no confidence by the students. Although Vailas faced mounting criticism and pressure from faculty and students to step down, he refused to resign and campus tension intensified, as the Idaho State Board of Education decided to suspend the university's faculty senate. As a result, in June 2011, the American Association of University Professors censured the ISU.
Student government is administered by the Associated Students of Idaho State University (ASISU). Each year a president and vice president are elected by the student body to administer and oversee a variety of activities either partially or fully funded by tuition-based fees. The ASISU Senate is the Association's legislative body. Made up of 20 student members elected by the students of each individual college (allocation of seats being based on enrollment of each college), the ASISU Senate is primarily responsible for allocating the ASISU budget.
The Student Activities Board, formerly the ASISU Program Board, oversees most of the student activity programming on campus. The board plans concerts, movie showings, homecoming activities, athletic-related events and other activities generally associated with student life.
Off-campus, many Pocatello businesses are geared towards the university community. Many ISU students take advantage of Pocatello's proximity to outdoor activities in eastern Idaho and northern Utah.
Reed Gym features recreational facilities including a climbing wall, swimming pool, tennis courts, and more. The Pond Student Union operates a movie theater, billiard room and bowling alley and hosts many student club activities. Fine arts events are regularly featured at the performing arts theater.
Idaho State University operates several residence halls and apartment complexes for its students.
Residence halls include Rendezvous Hall, Turner Hall, Nichols Hall, Owen Hall, and Redfield Hall. On-campus apartments include Bengal Studios, McIntosh Manor (Building #57), Pulling Courts (Building #53), Ridge Crest Townhomes (Building #54), Schubert Heights, University Courts, and West Campus Apartments.
Students with dependent children may live in McIntosh Manor, Pulling Courts, and Ridge Crest Townhouses. Residents are within the Pocatello/Chubbuck School District. Zoned schools include Washington Elementary School, Franklin Middle School, and Century High School.
Co-ed Business Fraternities:
Co-Ed Theatre Arts Fraternities:
The Idaho State University Bengals compete as a member school of the Big Sky Conference in the NCAA Division I FCS. ISU won the NCAA Division I-AA national championship in football in 1981. It also won NCAA national championships in boxing as Idaho State College in 1953 and 1957.
In more recent years ISU has been competitive in track and field winning the Big Sky Conference Indoor title in 2005 and 2006. The women's track and field team won their first outdoors women's Big Sky conference in 2007 with a score of 140.5 over Weber State. Dave Nielson was named the Big Sky Coach of the Year in Women's track and field and was later named the Mountain Region's Outdoor Women's coach of the year.
Home football games are played at Holt Arena which has a seating capacity of 12,000 for football games and is the oldest enclosed stadium on a college campus in the United States. Holt Arena also hosts indoor track and field events.
For years the Bengals enjoyed athletic rivalries with the Boise State Broncos and the University of Idaho Vandals. However, as far as football is concerned, these rivalries diminished significantly after both BSU and UI left the Big Sky in 1996 to move up to Division I-A. The Bengals still enjoy a healthy rivalry in basketball with both the University of Idaho, who they have dominated in recent years, and Boise State, who has dominated ISU in recent years. With the diminishment of the rivalries with both U of I and BSU in football, the Weber State Wildcats of nearby Ogden, Utah, Montana State Bobcats of Bozeman, Montana, and the Montana Grizzlies of Missoula, Montana have become ISU's main football rivals.
Idaho State also offers a rugby program that plays in Division II. Idaho State offers scholarships to rugby players in the form of allowing out-of-state students to pay the in-state tuition rate. Idaho State finished the 2010 regular season ranked 9th in Division II. Idaho State reached the semifinals of the 2011 Mountain 7s tournament, and reached the semifinals of the 2012 Pacific Coast championship.