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New Idaho State University president announced

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) - The Idaho State Board of Education named Robert W. Wagner as the 14th president of Idaho State University during a special meeting on Thursday. 

Wagner was on campus Thursday afternoon for the board meeting and to greet faculty, staff, students and community members. 

“Throughout the process, and especially during on-campus meetings and forums, it was my great pleasure to meet with students, faculty, staff, administrators, and community members who all impressed me with their deep interest in the presidential search and Idaho State University’s future,” said Wagner. “There is something special about this institution.”

State Board of Education Member Cindy Siddoway said the Board was looking forward to working with Wagner to continue Idaho State University’s trajectory of success.

“Dr. Wagner has a breadth of leadership experience honed during his 16 years at Utah State University where he held several executive-level positions,” said Siddoway, who served as co-chair of the ISU president search committee. “He is a very sincere person and he’s committed to ISU and its campus community. He will build on what has been accomplished at the institution these past five-and-a-half years and he will be an outstanding advocate for ISU and higher education in Idaho.”

Wagner is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Utah State University. A 16-year veteran at USU, Wagner has overseen various facets of the institution’s operations including strategic initiatives, student success, innovative academic programming, scholarship fundraising, marketing and student recruiting and retention. He recently co-chaired the development of USU’s first strategic plan in 20 years. He also led USU’s online delivery programs, within a multi-campus system and nationwide, which have been ranked in the top 25 in the nation for eight consecutive years by U.S. News and World Report. 

Prior to his current position, Wagner also served in various other positions at USU including Vice President of Academic and Instruction Services and Executive Vice Provost and Dean.

Wagner holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from State University of New York at Albany, a Master of Public Administration from the University of Utah and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Brigham Young University. He has also completed programs in leadership at Harvard University and Arizona State University.

Wagner and his wife, Tracy, have five adult children and three grandchildren.

“To the faculty, staff, and alumni of all of Idaho State University’s campuses, across this great state and even reaching Alaska; and to the diverse and vibrant populations and people whose history makes our collaborations richer and more meaningful – I pledge to you my unwavering support and dedication to this great institution,” said Wagner. “And to our students - you are why we are here. ISU will continue to be a student-centric university, finding innovative ways of supporting students and providing the highest caliber education with a focus on affordability, relevance and impact.”   

Wagner will start at ISU on Jan. 29. In the interim, Brian Sagendorf, Vice President for Operations, will serve as Acting President.

Article Topic Follows: ISU

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Ashley Chilcutt

Ashley is a reporter and producer for Local News 8.


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