Idaho State signs nearly $1 million advertisement contract

POCATELLO — Idaho State University will put almost $1 million toward a new statewide marketing campaign.

The Idaho State Journal reports that the university inked an eight-month, $975,000 deal with Boise-based advertising agency Mitchell Palmer.

The goal is to highlight the university’s lesser-known impacts and offerings, said ISU President Kevin Satterlee.

“We are doing great things,” Satterlee told the Journal, “but, often, few people know about them.”

ISU spokesman Stuart Summers said it’s the university’s first comprehensive statewide marketing and advertising campaign, and that most of the money will go toward purchasing and placing advertisements.

“We don’t want to be a secret anymore,” Summers said. “We want to be loud.”

The deal follows consecutive years of enrollment declines at ISU, including a 2.5 percent drop among undergraduate students and a .8 percent increase among graduate students from last fall.

The exodus of hundreds of Mideast students contributed to the declines. At one point, nearly 1,200 Saudi and Kuwaiti students had enrolled at ISU. Supported largely by foreign scholarship programs, these students brought in up to $20,000 per person in annual tuition, replacing income lost from previous declines in enrollment and state funding. Funding cuts to a major foreign scholarship program and a cultural clash between the foreign enrollees and community members have enticed Mideast students to leave Idaho.

In July, Satterlee said the school was in a fiscal crisis and outlined ideas for combatting enrollment declines.

“Higher education has a story to tell,” Satterlee said at the time. “We have to make sure the value is clear if we want things to improve.”


Devin Bodkin

About Devin Bodkin

Reporter Devin Bodkin covers education issues in East Idaho. He is a former high school English teacher who specializes in stories about charter schools and educating students who live in poverty. He is a 2019 Solutions Journalism Network fellow and the Idaho Press Club's 2019 print reporter of the year. Follow Devin on Twitter @dsbodkin. He can be reached by email at [email protected].

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