A first of its kind in higher education is happening right here in the Treasure Valley. The College of Idaho appointed not one, but two Presidents to lead the Yotes. College of Idaho believes it's the first time a single college campus in the nation has named Co-Presidents. 6 On Your Side's Michelle Edmonds had an exclusive opportunity to sit down and interview the men, former President of Title One Doug Brigham and former Treasure Valley YMCA CEO Jim Everett.
Brigham, who attended the College of Idaho says he's humbled by the position. Everett insists the two are informal and instead of being called President, they will prefer to be called by their first names. Perhaps, not shockingly, Brigham and Everett hatched the plan to be Co-Presidents together. "We have different skill sets, but we are very complimentary as well. It wouldn't work with a lot of people, and honestly, I'm not sure I would have considered it with anyone other than Jim," says Brigham. "Every day I get more excited about the concept. I think it's the model, not for everything as Doug said. It has to be the right combination. But as you look at the world we live in today everything is collaborative. Anything that I've ever been a part of in my life has been a product of a team effort. Getting people aligned around a shared vision. Getting them passionate about what they are doing and then it's amazing what you can do," says Everett.
There's little about the College of Idaho that keeps these Treasure Valley power players up at night. "This place is in good shape. It’s stable. We have benefited from a good stock market. Probably been a little more dependent on that then we should have been. Enrollment, we have done some building, this building. We have renovated dorms. We haven't reached the enrollment numbers we need to," says Everett. Current enrollment sits at a little less than a thousand students. The co-presidents would like to increase that number by about three hundred. "The big challenge is getting our name out. I don't know about Jim, but I've been congratulated as the President of the College of Western Idaho, College of Southern Idaho, University of Idaho," states Brigham.
Michelle also asked how they will fight the perception the College of Idaho is too expensive. The men agree it's a hefty price tag. But they counter that no one on campus pays the full price. Everett also wanted to remind everyone that the College of Idaho was just rated as the second-best value in the nation for their size and type of school.
As for their working environment, the men plan to start every day together either in person or over the phone. They hope that will keep them grounded and figuring out who is going in which direction.