News and Notes

A Newsletter for Faculty and Staff of Idaho State University

September 17, 2007 — Vol. 23 No. 25

Arthur C. Vailas, Ph.D., at the podium, was formally invested Sept. 14 as Idaho State University's 12th president. The rare and historic public event drew hundreds of attendees from the university community as well southeastern Idaho and beyond. Among them were Vailas' four brothers, all sons of Greek immigrants. Standing with Vailas (from left to right) are: Idaho State Board of Education member Laird Stone, Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, ISBE member Richard Westerberg, and physician M.R. "Mick" Mickelson, a longtime friend of Vailas.

In this Issue

Formal Investiture Ceremony held for President Vailas

Termed “the right man at the right place for the state of Idaho and Idaho State University” by Idaho Gov. C.L. Butch Otter, ISU President Arthur C. Vailas was officially heralded as the institution’s 12th president during a formal Investiture Ceremony on Friday, Sept. 14. Otter was among prominent guests at the ISU Holt Arena who (read more...)

ISU Fall 2007 enrollment up 532 students to 13,208

Idaho State University officials have announced enrollment figures as of the 10th day of enrollment for fall 2007. Overall enrollment includes 13,208 students, an increase of 532 students or 4.2 percent increase from fall 2006. In addition to the overall enrollment increase, there is an increase of more than 10 percent in admission applications with more (read more...)

ISU Reading Project ‘Afluenza’ events scheduled Sept. 18-21

Idaho State University’s Book Reading Project 2007, which is focusing on the book “Affluenza,” will offer various presentations Sept. 18 to 21 concluding with the showing of the “Affluenza” documentary followed by a keynote presentation and book-signing reception. The authors John de Graaf, David Wann and Thomas H. Naylor define “affluenza” as “a painful, contagious, socially (read more...)

Faculty/Staff Update

The Board of Directors of Idaho State University Federal Credit Union will host a retirement open house for President Lonnie Nelson on Wednesday, Sept. 19, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the ISUFCU Campus Branch at 9th and Carter in Pocatello. Nelson has been employed at ISUFCU since 1979 as both president and CEO. Members, friends and colleagues are invited to enjoy refreshments and help him celebrate his retirement.

Steven R. Neiheisel, Ph.D., ISU’s new associate provost for enrollment management, brings to ISU more than 20 years’ experience as dean and or director of enrollment offices. He has extensive experience in helping colleges and universities define and establish institutional goals and objectives, and in developing and overseeing enrollment management and technology implementation strategies to help those colleges and universities achieve their visions. As chief enrollment officer at other institutions, Neiheisel organized and led institutional efforts to establish enrollment management goals and strategies. In addition to his enrollment experience, he was student-information system (SIS) coordinator for more than 15 years. He has organized and chaired use- implementation groups in all stages of conversion from legacy systems to implementation of vendor-based SIS software. These experiences will be particularly valuable as Idaho State University embarks on a significant upgrade to its administrative technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics/information systems from California State University, Dominguez Hills, and Master of Arts and Ph.D. degrees in higher-education administration from Ohio State University. His graduate studies were among the first to explore the roles and impact of information systems on the administration of higher education. His career began at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and includes both private and public institutions as well as doctoral granting and master’s comprehensive institutions. His most recent campus position was assistant dean of enrollment management at University of Wisconsin – Green Bay.

James Frost, Ph.D., assistant research professor with the ISU Informatics Research Institute, and colleagues at two other universities have published in the “Journal of Business Inquiry” a survey of faculty reactions to issues of academic integrity. This survey was conducted online to collect data from faculty at two state universities in the western United States. Faculty at both schools responded to specific scenarios of student actions. Results show strong similarities for both universities. More than half of respondents indicated they are lenient to first offenders and would counsel students after plagiarism or cheating is discovered. However, as a group, the respondents indicated they do little to promote student awareness on what constitutes academic dishonesty. The survey found that one-third of respondents would fail the student in the course, and more than 1-in-10 respondents would file actions to have the student dismissed from school. Further, the survey found that although most faculty members are more stringent in their reactions to second-time offenders, most respondents stated there is no tracking of such activities in their departments, colleges or schools. The faculties indicated that student academic integrity is a problem at both schools. More than 23 percent of the 904 faculty contacted responded to the survey. Frost expressed gratitude to the faculty at ISU who participated in the survey, which can be found in the January 2007 Journal of Business Inquiry”.


The ISU Center for Teaching and Learning will host a faculty/staff development workshop focused on retention, student success, and the first-year experience Friday, Oct. 5, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Holiday Inn in Pocatello. Registration and breakfast begin at 8:30 a.m. Lunch will be provided. Participants will receive the book “Thriving in College and Beyond: Research-Based Strategies for Academic Success and Personal Development,” by Joe Cuseo, Viki S. Fecas and Aaron Thompson. Space is limited and is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. RSVP to the Center for Teaching and Learning at or x3933 by Oct. 1. For more information visit

Conducting research is no longer a solitary process. More external funding agencies are encouraging or requiring collaborative research projects. Research projects take on new significance when performed by a team, especially an interdisciplinary team. How do you form research collaborations? How do you keep them going? “Developing Research Collaborations” will be the topic of a panel discussion scheduled Sept. 25 as part of the Office of Research and the WeLEAD program’s “Sharing the Wealth” series of Brown Bag lunches for the academic year. The discussion is scheduled from noon to 1 p.m. in Room B-06 in Eli M. Oboler Library. A panel of ISU faculty will address questions regarding research collaborations. As successful collaborators they will “share the wealth.” Presenters will be Nancy Glenn, Ph.D., geosciences research associate professor; Neill Piland, Ph.D., Institute of Rural Health research professor; and Dave Harris, Office of Sponsored Programs assistant director.

Peter Boag, Ph.D., professor of history at the University of Colorado, Boulder, will deliver this year’s “Idaho Yesterdays” Lecture at ISU on Sept. 27. Boag will speak on the topic “Family, Gender and Conservation, 1945-1970: How Outdoor Recreation Undermined and Reinforced the Post-War Consensus.” The free public lecture is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Salmon River Suite the Pond Student Union Building. The ISU American Studies Program is sponsoring the lecture. Boag will look at family camping, a social trend that is familiar to Idahoans. The family-camping craze in the baby-boom era seemed to reinforce traditional gender roles and family unity, but it also inadvertently undermined these social patterns. Family camping also has had an impact on the environmental movement, Boag says. He will address ways in which the boom in camping from 1945 to 1970 prepared a generation of Americans to embrace modern environmentalism in the 1960s and beyond.

The ISU Dental Hygiene Clinic is now scheduling appointments for preliminary exams, X-rays, cleanings, fillings and sealants. All services are offered at reduced fees. For an appointment or further information, call x3282.