Michael Pattinson and his wife, Maria, have been selected by the voters of Moscow
Idaho as their representatives to the state’s higher education governing body,
the Idaho Board of Education (the Board). They will join five other community
college officials chosen by the voters of the Treasure Valley to represent them
on the Board. The new eight-member Board will assume its duties on July 1, 2013.
The Board, through its members, is responsible for the approval of higher
education policy at all the state’s universities and community colleges.
Pattinson was formerly the President of West Idaho College (WIC) in Pocatello
and before that he served as Chair of the Idaho Board of Education. He also
holds the position of President of the Idaho Association of Community Colleges,
a member-supported organization of which WIC is a member. Maria is the County
Commissioner of the County of Kootenai in Idaho. They are the first couple
elected to the newly formed Board.
Michael’s New Mission
As Chair of the Idaho Board of Education, Pattinson had the opportunity to
comment on a broad range of higher education issues, including the recently
passed legislation to expand access to higher education in the state. He says
he is excited about the new challenges and opportunities created by the Higher
Education Opportunity Act now that it has become law.
“I look forward to working with the Idaho community colleges, the four-year
universities, and the legislators as they seek to ensure that all Idahoans have
the opportunity to achieve the American Dream,” says Pattinson. “I believe
that a well-prepared and educated workforce is an important part of that effort.
As one of the state’s leading citizens and community college presidents, I
look forward to contributing to the improvement of Idaho’s economy and citizens’
quality of life.”
Michael Pattinson currently serves on the following boards or committees:
- Board of Directors, WIC;
- Board of Trustees, Holy Family
- Idaho Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences;
State University Foundation;
- Idaho State University Advisory
- Idaho State University Presidential Scholars; and
Association of Community Colleges.
Early Life and Education
Michael Pattinson was born in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho to Howard and
Barbara (Radford) Pattinson. He has a twin sister, Amy.
Pattinson graduated from Coeur d’Alene High School in 1980, then
earned a Bachelors of Business Administration from Idaho State University in 1984
and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Idaho in 1988.
In the years following, he worked in the insurance industry and for a short
time, owned and operated a small business.
Pattinson and his wife, Maria, have been married for 25 years and have
three grown children – Emily, John, and Amanda.
Pattinson moved to Moscow, Idaho, in 1990 and began a career in law
as an attorney for the Moscow Legal Aid Society. He also began serving as
a board member or chair on several non-profit organizations, including the
Mosaic Community Arts and Recreation Center in Moscow, the Downtown Area
Rental Association, and the Moscow Bar Association. For a number of years,
Pattinson was active in the Democratic Party in Moscow and served as legal
advisor to the Mayor of Moscow from 1995 to 2000. He was elected Chair of
the Board of Education in 2000 and has held that position since then.
Idaho Association of Community Colleges Election Record
Pattinson and his wife were first elected to the Board of Education in
2000. They were re-elected in 2004 and 2008 and are currently serving a four-year
term that will expire in August 2013.
Four challengers sought to unseat Barbara Pattinson. Michael and Maria
received the most votes among community college presidents, but because they
did not receive a majority of the vote, Barbara will remain on the Board.