Satterlee retiring as Idaho State president

After a five-year tenure — punctuated by pandemic and enrollment increases — Idaho State University President Kevin Satterlee is retiring.

Satterlee announced his retirement, effective Dec. 31, in a video message to university employees.

“As I reflect on my over 25 years in higher education, I am humbled by how much this work has meant to me personally,” Satterlee said Monday. “I have had the tremendous opportunity to follow my professional passions and help countless students realize their full potential. It has been a privilege and an honor to serve this state and to serve all of our students. And I am beyond grateful to have been able to serve Idaho State University with our mission, a mission that resonates so deeply with me, and with a team that shows more dedication and grit than I could have ever imagined.”

Satterlee, 55, became Idaho State’s 13th president in 2018. A Priest River native and a first-generation college student, Satterlee made student recruitment and student retention priorities of his presidency. Idaho State’s enrollment has grown for four successive semesters, as the university has looked to recover from a decade of dropping student numbers, exacerbated by the pandemic.

In his video message Monday, Satterlee touted “huge strides” in Idaho State’s retention rates. He also lauded several physical changes on Idaho State’s main campus in Pocatello — from student housing to a new alumni center to upgrades at Holt Arena.

In a statement Monday afternoon, State Board President Linda Clark hailed Satterlee for shepherding Idaho State’s enrollment rebound and “significant improvements” on the university’s Pocatello and Meridian campuses.

“Satterlee has made a positive difference for Idaho State University,” she said.

A former deputy attorney general and attorney for the State Board, Satterlee had worked at Boise State University for 17 years before taking the helm Idaho State.

His retirement will leave the State Board launching a national search for a successor.

Board members Cally Roach and Cindy Siddoway — both Idaho State alums — will co-chair the search committee. The search should get underway in the summer or early fall, State Board spokesman Mike Keckler said. The board will name an interim president to lead Idaho State in early 2024, and the board hopes to name a permanent successor by June 30, 2024.

Satterlee, meanwhile, says he plans to travel and spend time with friends and family.

“Having just welcomed my first grandchild, and missing out on spending time with my family and friends over the past several years, I know that it is time to honor my 30-year professional career and what I have accomplished, and also dedicate myself fully to this next phase of life with my family and friends.”

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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