Longtime State Board members retire

Richard Westerberg

Two longtime State Board of Education members participated in their final meeting Thursday at North Idaho College.

Richard Westerberg, who has served for 12-plus years, and Don Soltman, who has served for 10 years, will step down when their terms expire at the end of this month.

Westerberg served as chairman of former Gov. Butch Otter’s 2013 Task Force for Improving Education. Soltman missed just one meeting during his 10-year tenure, Executive Director Matt Freeman said.

Board members and staff recognized the retiring officials at the end of the meeting.

“As a new Board member, I looked to both of you for experience and help and guidance and have appreciated that over the years,” State Board President Debbie Critchfield said.

Gov. Brad Little is in the process of reviewing applications to fill the vacancies. He received 38 applications for the two openings.

Don Soltman

Westerberg’s and Soltman’s successors will each be appointed to five-year terms that are subject to Senate confirmation during the 2020 Legislative session.

Credit for prior work experience

In other action Thursday, The State Board unanimously approved a proposal designed to make it easier for students to receive college credit for work experience or military service.

The amended Board policy states that credits earned through a prior learning assessment will transfer seamlessly between institutions and satisfy the same requirements. Board staff members said the move will make it easier for students to finish a degree in a timely manner without having to repeat courses or submit additional paperwork.

Higher ed contracts

Finally, the State Board also approved pay increases for college and university presidents.

Board members voted to amend the contract of Lewis-Clark State College President Cynthia Pemberton and Idaho State University President Kevin Satterlee.

Under the amendments, Pemberton’s salary will increase to $240,000. Last year, Idaho Education News reported Pemberton earned a salary of $225,000.

Satterlee’s salary will increase to $400,000. Last year, Idaho Ed News reported Satterlee earned $370,000.


Clark Corbin

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