The President of Idaho State University announced Wednesday he will retire in 2018.
Arthur Vailas has been at the helm of ISU since 2006. He announced his retirement during a State Board of Education meeting, saying he and his wife plan to focus on other goals and spend more time with family.
The announcement comes three days after ISU’s football booster club said it will withhold donations until the president and the Athletic Director leave the school.
The boosters are upset with the team’s 20-70 overall record. The Athletic Director refutes the club’s claims and $80,000 is at stake.
Vailas did not talk about the standoff with the booster club when he said he would step down next June. His announcement did refer to the 2009 opening of the ISU-Meridian campus, which happened on his watch. ISU also partnered last year with Idaho’s College of Osteopathic Medicine which plans to train medical students in Meridian when it opens in 2018.
ISU was also the only state university to sign on last year to a tuition-lock program with Idaho Governor Butch Otter. It locks the base tuition for freshmen at ISU for four years of their college career.
In 2016, the number of high-paying international students dropped at ISU, after reports of racially charged attacks against some students from the Middle East. The school says the drop had more to do with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait limiting the number of students coming to certain schools.
The Board of Education will start the search for Vailas’ successor immediately and hopes to hire someone for president by March of next year.
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