State Board outlines next steps in search for higher ed ‘systemness’

State Board of Education members will spend the next few months looking at ways to streamline Idaho’s college and university system.

During a brief meeting Friday morning, the board accepted a consultant’s report on the higher education system, and appointed a subcommittee to comb through the report and make recommendations.

“I feel like it’s very timely that we move forward,” State Board President Linda Clark said Friday. “It’s an exciting opportunity for us.”

The issue stems from 2017, and former Gov. Butch Otter’s higher education task force, a group that included education, political and business leaders and State Board members. This group recommended that the state look for ways to consolidate higher education operations — a concept task force members called “systemness.”

Otter recommended hiring a higher education “CEO” to look for administrative cost savings that could free up money for scholarships and student support. That idea went nowhere, but the 2018 Legislature instead put $250,000 into a consultant’s report.

Huron, a Chicago-based firm, landed the contract and completed the study. (The report can be found in the State Board’s meeting packet, starting on page 127.)

 

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