Tom Bell says he wants to nail down cooperative agreements with Boise State and Idaho State while he is acting president at the University of Idaho.
Bell was appointed acting president by the state Board of Education last week while the state looks for a successor to President Elisabeth Zinser. She’s leaving next month to become chancellor at the University of Kentucky.
Bell retired last year as provost at Idaho, spending 10 years as the school’s chief academic officer. He intends to return to retirement after a new president is picked, and is not a candidate for the job.
Bell said he wants to continue to expand the cooperative engineering program in Boise, and finalize a cooperative engineering program in eastern Idaho with Idaho State.
He said service to students must remain the priority at the University of Idaho.
“That’s basic, but it’s important we keep that in front of us,” he said. “In all that’s going on around us we must promote and support quality academic programs,” Bell said.
He said issues facing faculty and staff at the university will not be lost in the shuffle during the interim.