From Scratch


From Scratch (w/shipping)

also on

From Scratch, by Dennis Griffin. November 2011. 180 pages. Softcover. ISBN 978-0945648116. Price $15.95

From Scratch is about how a large community college, set up to sere many thousands of students in new buildings across several cities, was created out of thin air in less than two years. It is written by the man at the center of that effort, founding president Dennis Griffin.

Sample chapter


Dennis Griffin has performed a valuable service for the Treasure Valley in telling the story of CWI’s creation and serving as CWI’s founding President.  For those who believe in the right of the people to use local government and its power to tax to improve the lives of its citizens, From Scratch is a must read.
Bob Kustra, President, Boise State University

I have known Dennis Griffin as a superb speaker and communicator, and now know he has a rare talent for writing as well. This is one of those reads that is hard to put down:  you just want to keep moving on to the next chapter; the next story. We have seen all growth records for new community colleges shattered with CWI; history is being made right before our eyes. If you want to know about the “perfect storm” that made this all possible, you must read this book.
Tom Dale, Mayor, City of Nampa

Dennis Griffin’s exhaustively researched book is an engrossing history of the decades of frustrations and disappointments (including some until-now undisclosed behind-the-scenes struggles) that preceded realization of the dream – creation of a new community college in Idaho’s largest metropolitan area. The college’s virtually instant success underscores the validity of that vision.
Steve Ahrens, former president, Idaho Association of Commerce & Industry

Dr. Griffin’s extensive experience with Boise State University and service as the first President of the College of Western Idaho makes him the ideal person to explain the history and development of the College.  This book is accurate, thorough, and the product of a person who was truly in the trenches.
Guy Hurlbutt, member, College of Western Idaho Board of Trustees

The book

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 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, decades of effort culminating in the bond election of 2007, 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? 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.

From Scratch (w/shipping)

From Scratch, by Dennis Griffin. 180 pages. 2011. $15.95