Micron Technology Inc. is recruiting the engineering schools of the University of Utah and Brigham Young University to teach courses in Boise.
Officials from both schools will visit Micron in the next few weeks to talk about engineering education at the company’s headquarters, Micron spokesman Kipp Bedard said.
Micron is not just interested in classes delivered by videotape or interactive television. The company wants faculty members to teach classes on-site in Boise. Utah officials say they are more likely to offer courses by interactive television, but they are willing to listen.
“We will be determining what type of services they may be able to provide, not only in Utah but in Boise,” Bedard said.
“We’re just trying to provide the best and highest quality education and flexibility to our employees,” he said.
The lack of engineering education in Boise was a key factor in Micron’s decision to pass over the Treasure Valley for its new $1.3 billion expansion. Micron decided to build at Lehi, Utah, in part to be near the engineering schools at BYU and the UofU.
Micron already offers electrical engineering courses to employees - from Stanford University and an engineering education consortium called the National Technological University - through video and satellite programs.
But any agreements reached with the Utah schools would be different from those programs because the schools would be working with Micron in Utah on research projects, Micron Chairman Steve Appleton said.
What’s more, Brigham Young and the University of Utah have a wide variety of programs through the doctoral level that go beyond electrical engineering.
Micron is not satisfied with the joint engineering program offered in Boise by the University of Idaho and Boise State University. The company wants Boise State to have its own engineering school.
Bob Rinker, director of the UI’s Boise engineering program, says Micron has frozen out the university. Several recent efforts to set up a meeting to discuss Micron’s needs in Boise have been either put off or canceled by Micron, he said.