CSI Presidential Candidate Forum


By Andrew Reed

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Students at the College of Southern Idaho are closer to having a permanent president.

This, after Jerry Beck announced he was stepping down back in June.

The college hosted a forum to meet the candidates.

It was a full house of students, facility, and people of the community.

The CSI Board of Trustees hosted a community forum - a time to ask presidential candidates questions.

There are three candidates in the running for the position.

Daniel Bingham, Ph.D., is the CEO of Helena College - University of Montana and a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin where he earned a Doctorate in Community College Leadership.

Daniel’s 26 years of higher education leadership experience includes: Executive Dean, Associate Vice President of Business Services and Legislative Liaison, Division Chair and Division Director.

He has extensive experience in educational entrepreneurialism, workforce, organizational and academic development, and shared governance. He also holds additional degrees in Educational Leadership and Industrial Technology Education in the Community College.

He is currently the President of Montana Business Assistance Corporation and a member of St. Peters Hospital Infectious Control Board.

Originally a native of Northern California, Daniel has spent the last twenty six years teaching and leading in higher education throughout the Rocky Mountain States. He and his wife Donna are the parents of four children and five grandchildren.

The second candidate - Dr. Carstens has significant experience in Idaho, Arizona, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah, designing systems that span the entire student life cycle and support college efforts to improve student success.

He has been involved with various technology and distance learning initiatives, extension and off-campus programs, dual-credit programs, professional and faculty development programs, grant development and management, curriculum and program development, online and onsite student services, facility construction projects, marketing and branding initiatives, public school and industry partnerships, and library consortiums.

Dr. Carstens currently serves as an Associate Provost at Salt Lake Community College, a national leader for its number of annual graduates. His career includes collaborative and leadership service at various multi-campus colleges, several rural college districts with geographically dispersed locations, and several nationally recognized districts such as Dallas, Lone Star, Maricopa, and Salt Lake.

His 30 years of service in institutional, student, learning, and operational support includes numerous administrative and leadership roles, as well as instructional assignments as faculty and departmental or division chair.

Dr. Carstens earned his doctoral degree from the Community College Leadership Program (CCLP) at the University of Texas at Austin. His prior formal education includes an M.S. from Oklahoma State University (OSU) in Curriculum & Instruction and a B.S. from OSU in German with a Social Studies minor and a teaching certificate.
Dr. Carstens and his wife have five sons and seven grandchildren! His interests include: family, church, aviation/flying, computers & technology, snow skiing, cowboy poetry, bluegrass and cowboy western music, camping, singing and the performing arts.

The third candidate - Dr. Jeff Fox currently serves as the Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer at the College, a position he has held since 2008.

Fox started at CSI as an Associate Professor of English in 1987; in 2006, he attained the rank of Professor of Merit. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in English from California State University at Sacramento and his Ph. D. in Higher Education Leadership from the University of Idaho (his 2008 dissertation was on community college presidencies.)

From 1987 to 2000, he taught a variety of courses including literature, humanities, composition, and Japanese language. Fox was appointed as Director of the Academic Development Center in 2000, and in 2003 he became Chair of the English, Languages, and Philosophy Department.

Fox was selected as CSI Academic Teacher of the Year in 1995, and he was awarded the Teaching Excellence Award from the J. A. & Kathryn Albertson and CSI Foundations in 2000. In 2008 after a national search, Fox was appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer.

He and Evin, his wife of 31 years, raised their two sons in Twin Falls, and along the way participated in 4H, youth soccer, baseball, and parent-volunteer opportunities at schools in the Twin Falls School District. Fox also served on a number of local and statewide committees and boards, including being a Magic Valley Arts Council Board Member, a Parks and Recreation Commissioner for the City of Twin Falls, and as a Board Member and then Chair of the Board of the Idaho Humanities Council.

He was a member of the Boise State Radio Citizens’ Advisory Board and also served on the vestry of the Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Twin Falls. Currently, he is Chair of the St. Luke’s Magic Valley Hospital Planning Committee and Secretary of the Board of Directors.

He was elected twice to serve on the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, and he served one of those terms as President of that body. Fox twice chaired the Governance Standard of the College’s Self-Study for the NWCCU, and served as faculty at-large representative on the College Strategic Planning Committee for several years. He also chaired the Curriculum Committee, overseeing monthly meetings of assembled chairs and directors on matters of curriculum and outcomes. Since 2008, he has overseen the College of Western Idaho as it goes through the process of becoming an accredited community college.

Fox currently serves as the Idaho two-year college representative on the Complete College America initiative and as Idaho’s representative on the WICHE-Alliance Executive Committee.

He has been active in CSI and business and industry partnerships not only with St. Luke’s, but also in cooperation with the City of Twin Falls and SIEDO, and he has worked with the J. A. & Kathryn Albertson Foundation and the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) to develop and secure grants for industry-related educational projects and STEM education.

Fox has also served as an evaluator for the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities for many years.

At this time, it's unknown when the board of trustees will make a decision on a new president.

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