President's Office

Administration Building
Room 105
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3151
Moscow, ID 83844-3151
Phone: (208) 885-6365

Friday Letter Office of the President

April 26, 2013

Dear Friends,

Have you ever thought about the things you take for granted?

Perhaps it’s the healing that comes from surgery and drugs once hailed as miracles.

Maybe it’s the mobility that comes from being free of polio and other crippling diseases, largely eradicated in our country. Don’t forget readily available food, clothing, and sundries.

Possibly, it’s the ease and fingertip access to information of every kind thanks to computer and communications advances.

These and many more benefits are part of the average American’s daily life, but their sources — education and research — often go unrecognized.

Education is more than developing job skills; research is more than pursuing personal gain. Both stem from a desire to learn. Both provide untold benefits to humanity.

Today it’s become trendy in some circles to dismiss the importance of institutional research.

But in fact, countless advances begin with knowledge and discoveries made by university researchers. Actually, the vast majority of research comes from fewer than 10 percent of all higher education institutions nationwide.

I’m proud to say the University of Idaho is one of those in the high-research category. As such, our research improves lives around the globe every year.

From human health to food production, and Internet security to engineering marvels, your university makes a difference, in large part, because of research that benefits the state of Idaho every day. In addition, more than 70 percent of our undergraduates actively participate in our world-class research and creative activities as part of their educational experiences here.

So in addition to providing top-flight educations, we bolster Idaho’s economy. Our ideas are licensed for use by businesses or shared through outreach efforts like those provided through the University of Idaho Extension Service. In part, this translates into to more than 400,000 Idahoans being served each year and nearly $1 billion being pumped into the state's economy.

Research does matter.  Research shapes the future. If we care about improving the lives of our children and future generations, research is not optional. It’s essential.

It’s just another way that we inspire futures.


M. Duane Nellis

U-Idaho receives $5.1 million grant from National Institutes of Health. The National Institutes of Health has awarded the University of Idaho a five-year grant for $5.1 million in continued support of the Institute for Bioinformatics and Evolutionary Studies. The grant will fund a number of projects within IBEST, which encompasses multiple research and education programs, along with students, faculty, staff and facilities, related to real-time evolution at U-Idaho. Read more.

Students Use Recycled Materials To Build Wild Salmon Incubators. A recycled refrigerator may be the answer to increasing wild salmon populations. Salmon eggs in the wild are under constant threat, whether from predators, pollutants or environmental factors, leaving as few as 5 percent of eggs to grow into the fry stage of life. Eggs raised in hatcheries fare much better, with about 90 percent surviving to fry stage. A team of engineering students is working to optimize incubators that help wild salmon survive at hatchery levels. These incubators use common, inexpensive materials – a stream-side model can be made from a refrigerator or cooler, while an in-stream model is made of pressboard – so they can be easily implemented by the Native American communities that rely on healthy salmon runs. Read more.

CHS Foundation Awards $65,000 To The College Of Agricultural And Life Sciences. The CHS Foundation, the major giving entity of the leading global agribusiness CHS, has awarded $65,000 to the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences to support two initiatives.

A $50,000 gift for a graduate assistantship in Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology will provide a graduate student the opportunity to study the economic and agribusiness aspects of cooperatives. Idaho Cooperative Council board members inspired the project idea when they shared problems faced in convincing producers about the value cooperatives offer, with CALS Professor Aaron Johnson. The graduate student will conduct research to compile information to educate cooperative members about the value of membership.

The CHS Foundation also gave $15,000 to sponsor the October 5-6, 2013 Ag Days event. Activities at Ag Days encourage high school students to pursue a degree in CALS while providing them an on-campus experience that includes dairy and livestock judging, a home football game and interaction with college students and faculty. For more information on how your organization can partner with the University of Idaho, contact Mindy Means at (208) 885-7053 or