Dr. Dennis Griffin, the founding president of the College of Western Idaho, has told the story of how the community college improbably came into being in just two years, in a new book released today (November 30) by Ridenbaugh Press.
Residents of the Treasure Valley heard and responded to the major campaign that made funding for CWI a reality. What they didn’t see was the behind-the-scenes activity: the decades of work and effort that culminated in the bond election of 2009, the legislative and educational soul-searching and business community pressure brought to bear on behalf of a new community college for Southwest Idaho, and conflict and tensions that only sometimes became visible.
How does a college gain accreditation? From bookkeepers to program directors, where did the staff come from? Who developed the curriculum? And: Since there was no actual building, where would the “brick and mortar” college be located?
From Scratch: Inside the Lightning Launch of the College of Western Idaho tells that story, shared from the insider’s perspective. Griffin, CWI’s first president, and the man who was charged with answering those questions and more, offers an intimate, candid telling of the triumphs and frustrations involved with creating a college from the ground up.
The foreword was written by another man closely involved with the college’s startup: Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter. It has won praise pre-publication from a wide range of Idahoans, including Boise State University President Bob Kustra, who called it a “must read,” to Nampa Mayor Tom Dale. (More quotes are available at the book’s web site.)
From Scratch is available now through Ridenbaugh Press: www.ridenbaugh.com/fromscratch/ or Amazon.com $15.95 plus shipping. It is expected to be available from area book sellers soon. There is also a Facebook page; just look for “From Scratch.”