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Robert W. Wagner Named ISU's 14th President

December 21, 2023

Robert W. Wagner, ISU's 14th President

The Idaho State Board of Education has named Robert W. Wagner as the next president of Idaho State University. He begins January 29, 2024.

Dr. Wagner is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Utah State University. A 16-year veteran at USU, Dr. Wagner has overseen various facets of the institution’s operations including strategic initiatives, student success, innovative academic programming, scholarship fundraising, marketing and student recruiting and retention. He recently co-chaired the development of USU’s first strategic plan in 20 years. He also led USU’s online delivery programs, within a multi-campus system and nationwide, which have been ranked in the top 25 in the nation for eight consecutive years by U.S. News and World Report. 

Prior to his current position, Dr. Wagner also served in various other positions at USU including Vice President of Academic and Instruction Services and Executive Vice Provost and Dean.

Dr. Wagner holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from State University of New York at Albany, a Master of Public Administration from the University of Utah and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Brigham Young University. He has also completed programs in leadership at Harvard University and Arizona State University.

“My own experiences as a student instilled in me a compassion for every student who has embarked on the arduous, demanding and rewarding journey of pursuing a college degree,” said Dr. Wagner. “During my career, I feel honored to have witnessed the grit and success of many students who achieved noble goals while conquering individually unique difficulties. One of my challenges was being a non-traditional student, balancing family and work in pursuit of education and opportunity. My wife and I earned our bachelor’s degrees with one young child, I earned my master’s degree with four small children at home and my doctorate degree with a family of five children while living two thousand miles away from extended family and friends.”

Dr. Wagner and his wife, Tracy, have five adult children and three grandchildren. 

“To the faculty, staff, and alumni of all of Idaho State University’s campuses, across this great state and even reaching Alaska; and to the diverse and vibrant populations and people whose history makes our collaborations richer and more meaningful  – I pledge to you my unwavering support and dedication to this great institution,” said Dr. Wagner. “And to our students - you are why we are here. ISU will continue to be a student-centric university,  finding innovative ways of supporting students and providing the highest caliber education with a focus on affordability, relevance and impact.”  

Dr. Wagner will start at ISU on January 29.  In the interim, Brian Sagendorf, vice president for operations, will serve as acting president. 

Please join the University community in welcoming Dr. Wagner to Idaho State University. 

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