Idaho Central Credit Union establishes new chair at College of Business

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Idaho State University College of Business announces first-ever faculty position in the Department of Management with support from Idaho Central Credit Union. This announcement marks the fourth new endowed faculty position at the College of Business in the past 10 months.

The ICCU Endowed Professorship in Management Chair will last in perpetuity and will be awarded to full faculty members of the Department of Management. A professor of management, Dr Alex Bolinger was chosen as the first endowed professor at ICCU, due to his exemplary work and the learning opportunities he offers to the students in his classes. The ICCU team is happy to support Bolinger’s efforts to advance their research and provide the hands-on student projects that Bolinger has developed for their students.

“Alex is an inspiring teacher and I have watched his work in action for many years,” said Kent Oram, ICCU CEO and College of Business alumnus. “I know that students are better prepared for the job market when they have studied with it. ”

Bolinger was surprised by the Faculty Award Monday afternoon with an unexpected visit from Oram; ICCU Executive Vice President and Administrative Director Shelli Bardsley; ICCU Marketing Director Michael Watson; and the Bolinger family.

“It is particularly significant to receive this chair from ICCU because of their generous sponsorship from the ICBSC,” said Bolinger. “ICCU has not only provided funds, but Kent Oram and his entire leadership team have always taken the time to meet with our Idaho State Business Graduate Students to mentor and encourage them. I cannot imagine a better partner and I am honored to be associated on behalf of ICCU.

For the past seven years, ICCU has also sponsored the International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition (ICBSC) team, which Bolinger and professor of accounting Dr. Dawn Konicek advise.

For the competition, a team of graduate students compete against teams from around the world, working in leadership roles to run simulated companies. Idaho state students participated in the 55-year-old event in the 1990s for several years, but stopped for nearly two decades before Bolinger raised the idea of ​​bringing back the opportunity. to students of the College of Business. Since the return from competition, Idaho State student teams have returned each year with a first or second place trophy.

“The ICBSC is unique,” ​​Bolinger said. “It’s as close as a student can experience what it is like to run your own business without risking your own money – and I’ve never seen an activity that challenges and engages students in the world. ‘in a way that simulates the decisions they will actually make. -global organizations. Bolinger said graduates of the Idaho State ICBSC teams travel the country from Vancouver, Canada to the East Coast, all of whom have had great career success. He said that for many of the students, their experience at ICBSC was the highlight of their college career.

In addition to the ICBSC, Bolinger also set up a Book Writing Course which has enabled four groups of Idaho Honor Program students to become published authors and even stars of a Emmy nominated documentary. This course began as an experimental idea from Bolinger, giving students the opportunity to work in teams. The books were all published by Arcadia Publishing and include stories about Garrett Freightlines, Pocatello, Idaho State University and the book that inspired a PBS documentary – The Story of Idaho’s Role in World War II.

“One of my goals as a faculty member is to bring ‘signature experiences’ to students,” Bolinger said. “Experiences, such as the ICBSC, that allow students to dynamically apply what they learn in the classroom and remember it long after leaving the state of Idaho. “

Bolinger said that “one of the challenges for a smaller, more rural institution like Idaho State University is the need for faculty to travel in order to cultivate research collaborations and stay on top of the latest trends to make dynamic and current courses. This gift gives me the peace of mind that I can continue to build these collaborations and bring cutting-edge ideas and practices to our Idaho State students. “

Oram said he hopes this gift will give Bolinger and future management professors the resources to continue providing students with these unique and impactful experiences. “Teachers are powerful because they keep giving year after year. I trust [Alex’s] judgment on what he thinks would work best and what it will look like along the way. “

This chair is the fifth ever established at the College of Business. The Dean of the College of Business, Dr Shane Hunt, notes that these endowments are an important part of retaining faculty like Dr Bolinger who provide students with unforgettable and impactful experiences that ultimately guide them to a prosperous future. Hunt explained that these faculty positions not only help the college attract faculty, but are a major component in retaining the outstanding faculty that make the most difference in a student’s college experience, which also has an impact on student retention and success. It is thanks to the support of donors like Idaho Central Credit Union that these chairs are possible.

“Thank you to ICCU for this transformational gift,” said Hunt. “Idaho Central Credit Union has had an incredibly positive impact on our university and our community and this gift will benefit students, faculty and our region for generations to come. I would also like to congratulate my friend and colleague Dr Alex Bolinger on being appointed ICCU Full Professor of Management. Alex is a world-class teacher and researcher whose leadership and service enhances every part of Idaho State College of Business.

“I feel really lucky to be able to work in a community like Pocatello and in a place like Idaho State University College of Business with faculty and staff who care about the student experience first and foremost,” Bolinger said.

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