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New Idaho State University President talks changes coming to campus

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) - During the first few months as President of Idaho State University, Dr. Robert Wagner said one of the biggest concerns he got was the parking lot adjacent to the Pond Student Union Building on campus.

The University recently received state funding to address the problem, and didn't wait until the end of the semester to do so.

"The whole parking lot not only is being repaved and resurfaced, but will be adding additional parking spaces, will be adding more trees and will be re-working the parking lot," Wagner said. "So it's much easier for cars to navigate in."

Wagner hopes the changes to the parking lot will bring a positive impact to the student experience on campus.

"We're actually netting more parking spaces and more trees, which is very exciting and I think will be really add to the capacity of our institution as well as the beauty of this campus."

Wagner says the state funding they received will also go to other projects currently going on.

"We have used similar state funds to start work on the swimming pool," Wagner said. "We have our College of Pharmacy building as well which is on pace to be completed."

Wagner says he has spent a lot of his time getting to know the Idaho State community, as well as the Pocatello community. He spoke at the Pocatello Chamber of Commerce meeting on Tuesday.

"It's important for me to realize I'm new to Idaho State," Wagner said. "I need to understand and get to know this institution well. And I am I'm talking both internally, with our faculty, our students and staff, as well as externally with groups."

Wagner says he wants to continue the legacy that former president Kevin Satterlee built in growing enrollment rates on campus. He says he really wants to build growth with non-traditional students, whether it be dual-enrollment high school students or older students returning to get their degree.

"This campus is a dynamic place," Wagner said. "There's a lot going on. We'll see growth at our Meridian campus as well as projects in Idaho Falls."

Wagner says the short time he has spent as president has validated his decision to come here.

"It's been an incredible experience," Wagner said. "My wife Tracy and I have felt so welcome and we've just been embraced by the community here."

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Cole Sams

Cole is a reporter for Local News 8.


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