Otter To Discuss Idaho Higher Education Recommendations Thursday

Jan 2, 2018

Gov. Butch Otter has hinted at a higher education overhaul. Thursday’s State Board of Education meeting could provide more details.

The board will meet by conference call at 3 p.m. Thursday to discuss recommendations from Otter’s higher education task force. Otter is expected to address the board directly.

Otter has had the recommendations from his 36-member task force in hand since September, but he has said little about them publicly.

These recommendations include a “digital campus” designed to push college courses into public libraries and other rural centers and an administrative streamlining effort to free up state dollars for scholarships and other initiatives. The group also pressed the pause button on Idaho’s “60 percent” postsecondary completion goal, pushing the target date back from 2020 to 2025.

During the Associated Taxpayers of Idaho’s annual conference in December, Otter promised action but offered no details. “I’m going to ask the Legislature to structurally change exactly how we run higher education in the state of Idaho,” he said.

The State Board meeting comes as Otter will have the chance to set the opening tone for his 12th and final year as governor. Otter will address reporters Friday at a legislative preview sponsored by the Associated Press, and on Monday, Otter will deliver his state of the state address to legislators and release his 2018-19 budget proposal.

The State Board meeting will be held at board offices, third floor, 650 W. State St. To listen in by phone, call (877) 820-7829 and use the participant code 9096313.

Originally posted on IdahoEdNews.org on January 2, 2018