History and Mission
The College of Southern Idaho represents a shared vision and a collaborative effort of the citizens of the Magic Valley. This vision began to take form as early as 1952 when a Stanford doctoral student wrote his dissertation, "A Junior College Survey of Twin Falls County, Idaho." Several years later (1960) the Twin Falls Chamber of Commerce established a junior college committee to actively pursue financial support to make this vision a reality.
At the same time, classes were begun in Buhl under a private institution called Southern Idaho College. An inadequate tax base caused the Board of Education to discontinue the effort, although many of the individuals involved later helped develop CSI.
Two years later the Federal Government facilitated the College of Southern Idaho's development by providing federal aid for building academic facilities. In 1963 the Idaho legislature passed the Junior College Act, which provided for the establishment of junior college districts. Twin Falls County voted to form a junior college district in November 1964. The following year Jerome County citizens voted to join the junior college district.
The first academic classes were held in the evening at Twin Falls High School, while vocational classes were held at the Kimberly Road facility. The administrative offices were housed in the old hospital annex building. The College was governed by a Board of Trustees that hired Dr. James L. Taylor as the first President of the College of Southern Idaho. He served as President until his death in November of 1982. Gerald R. Meyerhoeffer became President in 1983. Dr. Gerald Beck, CSI’s current President, was appointed in 2005.
The College of Southern Idaho is one of the fastest growing institutions of higher education in the state. CSI has off-campus centers in Burley, Gooding, Jerome, and Hailey. The College of Southern Idaho offers a variety of educational opportunities to the people of South Central Idaho.