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Idaho State University


POCATELLO – The State Board of Education is pleased to announce Dr. Arthur Vailas (pronounced VAY-less) will be the next president of Idaho State University.

Dr. Vailas will begin as president on July 1, 2006, taking over from Interim President Michael Gallagher, who has served in that capacity since Dr. Richard Bowen retired in October.

"Dr. Vailas' impeccable qualifications, particularly in the health sciences, along with his personable demeanor and communication skills make him a good fit for Idaho State University. The State Board looks forward to Dr. Vailas joining the ranks of Idaho's outstanding college and university presidents," said Rod Lewis, president of the State Board of Education.

"This is an exciting, new chapter for Idaho State University," said State Board Member Karen McGee, who chaired the ISU Presidential Search Advisory Committee. “We received many outstanding applicants for the position of president. After sifting through more than 50 applicants, conducting a series of interviews, and bringing four finalists to visit Idaho, the State Board is confident Dr. Vailas is the right person, at the right time for Idaho State University."

Dr. Arthur Vailas is vice chancellor and vice president for research and intellectual property management for the University of Houston System and the University of Houston (UH). He joined UH in 1995 as vice president for research and vice provost for graduate studies, and professor and distinguished chair in biology and biochemistry.

Prior to joining UH, Vailas was associate dean for research and development at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a university he served in numerous capacities including: professor of surgery, division of orthopedic surgery in the College of Medicine; professor of kinesiology, School of Education; professor, department of poultry science in the College of Agriculture; and professor and director of the Biodynamics Laboratory.

He also was both assistant and associate professor in the department of physiological sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Vailas has served on national boards and scientific panels for NASA and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He has consulted for biotechnology and aeronautical companies. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Iowa and his B.S. degree at the University of New Hampshire, where he played football. Dr. Vailas’ complete vita is online at:

The State Board set Dr. Vailas’ salary at $260,000 per year. Consistent with other Idaho university presidents, housing and a car also will be provided. Dr. Vailas is married to Dr. Laura Vailas, associate dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at the University of Houston.