Dennis Griffin was born and raised in Payette, Idaho. He holds three college degrees, receiving a doctorate from the University of Idaho in 1996. He has a varied work history, and among other things, spent an early career in banking but soon knew that education would be the endeavor that excited him most.
After receiving his bachelor’s degree from Boise State College in 1970, he spent the next 10 years teaching in two different high schools during which time he earned a masters degree in counseling from the College of Idaho in 1974. He left high school teaching and moved to private post-secondary professional technical education serving as a Director of Education, School Director, and President/CEO of a company owning several schools. He served in these roles both in Boise and in Seattle.
He returned to public education when he started with Boise State University in 1989 serving as a Division Manager in the professional technical department and then as the Executive Director of the West Campus for the university. He served in these capacities for 18 years. He was named President of the newly formed College of Western Idaho in 2007.
He was deeply involved in the community spending time on numerous boards and advisory councils. While in Seattle, he served as President of the Washington Federation of Private Vocational Schools and, as President of the Pacific Northwest Business Schools Association, was active in the Seattle Chamber of Commerce. After returning to Boise, he became involved in numerous civic organizations including the Nampa Rotary Club serving as President in 2002-03. He was named Chairman of the Board for the Nampa Chamber of Commerce in 1998-99 and was a member of the Caldwell Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors as well. He also became active in such professional organizations as the Idaho Lifelong Learning Association and served on the Executive Committee of the National Association of Branch Campus Administrators.
After spending thirty-two years in the National Guard and Army Reserve, he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. He is married to his wife Joni and has three grown children, Scott, Christine, and Jennifer and two grandchildren, Ella and Erika.