ISU president implements programs to solicit campus feedback

January 19, 2019

POCATELLO -- On his first morning as president of Idaho State University, Kevin Satterlee bought a rubber door stopper and used it to prop open the entrance of his administration office.

Satterlee later replaced the electronic keypad and buzzer system that his predecessor installed so that the door could close without locking automatically during normal business hours. But he, nonetheless, continued using the stopper as a symbolic gesture that his door is open to faculty and students.

It was one of a few small gestures Satterlee said he’s made to create a welcoming campus environment, in which advice is sought out and implemented.

Satterlee has also started a pair of new programs -- Coffee with Kevin and One Thing -- to solicit feedback.

He hosts Coffee with Kevin on a monthly basis in the Pond Student Union Building at the Pocatello campus. During the informal events, he offers coffee, tea and cocoa and hears ideas and concerns from whoever stops by. The next Coffee with Kevin is scheduled for 9 a.m. Feb. 5 in the student union’s Salmon River Suite. Satterlee also hosts periodic Coffee with Kevin events at the ISU Idaho Falls and Meridian campuses.

“I’ve met a lot of people, for one, and I’ve found out how people feel about numerous items,” Satterlee said.

Satterlee said the coffee meetings have drawn good crowds and generated valuable ideas.

“We got early indications that we needed to make changes to our travel system,” Satterlee said.

Faculty and staff also told Satterlee that they would appreciate discounted admission to sporting events. Based on the suggestion, Satterlee arranged for faculty and staff to have discounts at a few Bengal games.

He started One Thing at the advice of another university president. He created an electronic form at https://isu.edu/onething/ where visitors are asked to post their responses to the question: “What one thing can we do to make Idaho State better?”

“It’s about making sure our hard-working faculty and staff have an easy way to have their voice heard if they have an idea or concept,” Satterlee said. “We need to continue to make sure we’re fostering an environment where that type of inclusivity and willingness to listen is part of what we do.”

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