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History of the UEC

As the State’s land-grant institution, the University of Idaho was founded on a mission of service and outreach to industry. The Utility Executive Course is a prime example of the university’s commitment to and partnership with industry.

The Public Utilities Executives’ Course, or PUEC, had its inception in 1954 when an executive from the Idaho Power Company approached his former business professor to create a management development program for the utility industry. Renowned economist Erwin Graue led a team in creating a four-week course designed to help managers develop a leadership point-of-view and accelerate their transition to executive responsibility. The eight founding Northwest utility companies sent 33 utility managers to the University of Idaho campus to launch PUEC:
  • British Columbia Electric Company, Ltd.
  • California-Pacific Utilities Company
  • Idaho Power Company
  • Montana Power Company
  • Pacific Power and Light Company
  • Public Service Company of Colorado
  • Utah Power and Light Company
  • Washington Water Power Company

Today, the Utility Executive Course—now UEC—is the oldest and largest industry-specific program in the country. More than 2,200 leaders from over 100 companies in 17 countries have completed the program. These managers have risen in their organizations to become vice-presidents, executive vice-presidents, chief executive officers, and board chairs.