ISU Headlines

Huls bids adieu to ISU diesel technology program

Posted June 11, 2009

After 28 years at the Idaho State University College of Technology, Tom Huls, master instructor in Diesel/Diesel Electric Technology, has announced his retirement. Tom grew up on a farm in Aberdeen, Idaho. After graduating from high school he moved to Pocatello to attend classes at ISU.

Huls completed a two year LDS mission in England, attended ISU as a student for two years and transferred to BYU-Idaho (then Ricks College). Life changes took him to the Burley area. He attended the College of Southern Idaho and received an associate of applied science degree in Diesel Technology.

After spending ten years working in the diesel industry and reaching another turning point in his life, in 1981, Tom accepted an instructor’s position at the ISU Diesel Technology program. While working full time at ISU he returned to his studies and completed a bachelor’s degree in Vocational Teacher Education in 1988.“I am the last of the ’81 crew to retire. When I started teaching in 1981 we had eight full time instructors and around 110 students in the program. Two of our current instructors were also my students and I am now teaching the kids of some of our previous students,” commented Huls.

When asked about his most memorable times at the University, Tom reflected on the numerous changes he has seen in the diesel industry, changes at the University, opportunities to attend industry related trainings, industry partnerships, camaraderie with fellow instructors and relationships with students. “One of the highlights is seeing our students become successful. Many are now worldwide trainers and managers in the field. It is great to have them come back and tell us about their successes. There is a big job market for diesel technicians and there is always a job for a good person.”  

While Tom does not have any immediate retirement plans, he expects that he and wife Nancy (who retired from ISU earlier this year) will be able to travel. An October visit to Alabama to see his son and family who live close to Talladega Speedway is planned and he and Nancy may also go south for the winter months. “The biggest changes will come as the fall semester approaches and I am not coming back,” explained Huls.Nancy and Tom just recently celebrated their 10th anniversary. They have three daughters, one son and five grandchildren. As Tom concluded, “the closer retirement gets the scarier it gets. However, this is just one chapter of my life closing and another one starting.”

To recognize Tom Huls’ time at the University, a retirement reception was held May 29.