A panel promoting expansion of Eastern Idaho Technical College into a two-year academic institution has approved College of Eastern Idaho as the name of a proposed Idaho Falls community college.
Richard Clark, an Eastern Idaho Technical College student council representative, was the only person who opposed the designation during a recent meeting. He said students he has spoken with think the college should be named after Idaho Falls or Bonneville County."If the people of Idaho Falls are going to take the initiative to raise their taxes to fund this they should be able to identify with it," he said.
Other members of the committee, however, said they fear naming the college after the city or county would hurt its chances for state funding. They said a regional designation would be better.
"I don't think we should limit it to Idaho Falls because the taxing district would be bigger than that," said Sen. John Hansen, R-Idaho Falls.
Bonneville County voters will go to the polls May 15 to decide whether to form a community college district.
A name was chosen so the committee can form a tax-exempt foundation and accept donations for the proposed college. Don Ofte, retired manager of the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, was named chairman of the foundation's board of directors.
Former Eastern Idaho Technical College Director John Christofferson said he would prefer that the name follow the pattern set by the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls and North Idaho College in Coeur d'Alene. Idaho Falls Mayor Tom Campbell agreed, noting that only 25 percent of the institution's funds would come from local property taxes.
An interim legislative committee also is considering proposed legislation establishing a statewide community college system. Under that plan, Eastern Idaho Technical College would be "recognized and confirmed" as the Eastern Idaho Community College. The system would be financed primarily by a tax on carbonated beverages rather than local property taxes.