University of Idaho
students walk on University of Idaho campus

Visit U of I

Learn about the many reasons the University of Idaho could be a perfect fit for you. Schedule Your Visit

Parents on campus during orientation

Homecoming Oct. 1-7

Join other Vandal families for a week of celebration and Vandal traditions. View Calendar

campus full of students

U of I Retirees Association

UIRA has a membership of nearly 500 from every part of the University. Learn More

Contact Us

Physical Address:
Administration Building
Room 105
Moscow, ID
83844-3151

208-885-6365
president@uidaho.edu

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive
MS 3151
Moscow, ID
83844-3151

Directions

The Friday Letter

The Friday Letter is U of I’s long-running, weekly message straight from the president to members of the Vandal family. Each week during the academic year, and with breaks for holidays, the president offers an update on Vandal teaching and learning, research and scholarship, and notable initiatives and priorities. Alumni and friends are welcome to join students, faculty and staff in receiving the newsletter. To subscribe, contact Executive Communications Manager Brian Keenan at bkeenan@uidaho.edu.

The Friday Letter
Letter from the President
April 20, 2018
Dear Friends,
At the University of Idaho, hundreds of students come from all over the country to compete in one of our 16 Division I sports. They grow as team members, competitors and campus leaders while gaining an outstanding education from one of the best values anywhere for a research university education. Throughout our recent challenges with the budget of our athletics department, the quality and quantity of the opportunities we’re able to support for student-athletes has always been a top priority.
 
This week the Idaho State Board of Education approved another waiver of the board policy that caps how much institutional funding can be directed to athletics. As with last year when we received a one-year waiver, the department faces an approximately $1 million deficit, or over-expenditure of general funds as capped by board policy. The board’s waiver provides greatly appreciated flexibility as we engage in forthcoming discussion about our approach to athletics budgeting.  
 
One stark option presented to the State Board to balance the books, as required by current policy, meant eliminating three non-required Big Sky Conference sports: women’s swimming and diving, women’s soccer, and men’s golf. Many of you may know my appreciation for each sport – my sons were NCAA swimmers, for instance, and I’ve strongly supported Vandal soccer, pushing to make our Kibbie Kick-off women’s soccer game vs. BSU a marquee event last fall. Furthermore, eliminating golf at a school with the Northwest’s only PGA Golf Management Program makes little sense.  
 
Thanks to this waiver, immediate sport elimination is off the table as we collaborate with the State Board on a way forward.
 
As we approach that discussion, we are interested in considering the impact our strong Athletics programs have on enrollment, and the department's contributions to the overall bottom line. It is important to understand that while the Athletics Department exceeds the board’s general education funding limit, the University of Idaho overall actually generates positive revenue from athletics. Here’s how: Student-athletes choose their university based on their ability to participate in a sport here, even if they’re not receiving a full scholarship – eloquently explained by Vandal swimming graduate Amanda Watson. Revenue from tuition and fees and other services is a net gain for the institution, even while the department experiences deficits. The opportunities for students and the contribution to our campus culture are also invaluable. Now, as with any other unit, we don’t want to run a deficit, and, as I have said, we believe there are appropriate limits on athletics expenditures. We are going to advocate for responsible fiscal management in our department while also taking a more holistic view of overall revenue and expenses.
 
As the policy discussion evolves, the flexibility may emerge to add sports like rifle, men’s swimming and women’s triathlon – sports with low operating costs and overall revenue potential. We also need to capitalize on enthusiasm for all our programs with robust fundraising and ticket sales, among other revenue sources. We are in control of our destiny, but we need to continue to take action.
 
Hearing from Vandals on the issue, I’m struck by the passion we share for taking on this challenge. A strong athletics program is a part of who we are as Vandals. Next Tuesday we have an opportunity to invest in projects across the university during Vandal Giving Day. We will be offering challenges to donors on a number of projects, including our ICCU Arena project and the Vandal Scholarship Fund. Mary Beth and I are supporting a match challenge with a personal contribution. Excited about the Arena? Want to support the future for student-athletes at this university? Please consider what you can give.
 
We have the opportunity to build a special athletics program at the University of Idaho and perhaps change the way that athletics, particularly what are traditionally called non-revenue sports, are viewed. Balancing the books will be an ongoing challenge. While we assess how we can go forward in the future, I hope you will stay connected to and passionate about your Vandal sports teams.
Chuck Staben
Go Vandals!

Chuck Staben
President
Latest News from U of I

Engineering Outreach Supports 25 Years of Engineering Expo

For over 40 years, Engineering Outreach at the University of Idaho has been a pioneer in developing and delivering quality distance education. From mailing instructional videotapes to students in the 1970s to currently streaming over 70 online courses each semester, Engineering Outreach evolves to provide educational experiences to regional, national and global learners. Engineering Outreach-delivered engineering master’s degrees are nationally ranked for affordability and commitment to flexibility to working professionals everywhere. Currently, Engineering Outreach and its academic partners are providing this same level of commitment to deliver online undergraduate education. With its history of commitment to educational accessibility and innovation, Engineering Outreach is once again a presenting sponsor of the College of Engineering's signature Engineering Design EXPO event. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Design EXPO is Idaho's longest running showcase for engineering student talent. To learn more about Engineering Outreach and the Design EXPO, please contact Senior Director of Development Bobbi Hughes at bhughes@uidaho.edu or 208-885-5303.

Three Faculty Members Honored as University Distinguished Professors

The University of Idaho is recognizing three of its most distinguished faculty members for contributions to their fields with the designation of University Distinguished Professor. College of Law Professor Barbara Cosens, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Professor Ronald Hardy and College of Science Professor Ruprecht Machleidt will receive the honorary designation during the University Awards for Excellence banquet on Wednesday, April 25. The rank of University Distinguished Professor is the highest honor bestowed by the university on a faculty member. Honorees bring national and international recognition to U of I through their scholarly activity. Since the award was first designated in 2011, 19 faculty members have received the honor.

Here We Have Idaho Magazine Now Available

The spring issue of Here We Have Idaho is now available. Explore the stories and learn more about how the University of Idaho is continuing its century of dedication to natural resources in Idaho at uidaho.edu/magazine. Did you miss your copy? Update your mailing address at uidaho.edu/alumni/update, or subscribe to our digital magazine here.

Contact Us

Physical Address:
Administration Building
Room 105
Moscow, ID
83844-3151

208-885-6365
president@uidaho.edu

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive
MS 3151
Moscow, ID
83844-3151

Directions