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Viewpoint: New CWI president discusses his vision for the college and its 29,000 students

Gordon Jones officially became the College of Western Idaho's third president on January 10.

BOISE, Idaho — It's a new era under a new leader at Idaho's largest community college. The College of Western Idaho has a new president for the first time in a dozen years.

Gordon Jones officially became the third president of CWI on January 10. Jones had been at Boise State University since 2015 when he became the founding dean of the College of Innovation and Design. He takes over for Bert Glandon who retired in May of 2021 after 12 years as president.

Jones' presidency begins as CWI focuses on producing more health care professionals for our hospitals and clinics at this critical time of the COVID pandemic.

The college is also planning to build a new Health Science Building on its main campus in Nampa to train more registered nurses and other health care workers. Governor Brad Little put $10 million for the building in his budget proposal. Jones said the building would be a critical addition to the campus and the region.

Credit: CWI

"We require the facilities that can allow us to do the kind of specialized training that comes with helping individuals realize their career goals, in this case, nursing," CWI President Gordon Jones said. "I am incredibly thankful that the governor put that in as a request, and I'm very hopeful that our legislative leaders see that and recognize that that is a very direct service to our community, and I would argue a very smart investment."

"We focus on affordability and that comes with being good stewards of the resources, and I will be the first to say we are not interested in building buildings for building sake," Jones said. "But for purposes that are needed, I'm 100% there, and for this health care need, this is a critical need for us to provide, I think people we know, and would love to see more of helping us and helping our family members into the future, and so it is critical."

The College of Western Idaho was founded in 2007. It has an enrollment of 28,974 students. CWI also provides more than 11,000 high school students in the state with dual credit opportunities. Its main campus is in Nampa. The college also has an Ada County campus at the Black Eagle Business Center in Boise.

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