The events this week have been almost non-stop, but our theme remained the same – partnerships.
Our university’s emphasis on partnership stems from a core value we hold as Idaho’s oldest and most extensive university -- we serve the state. As a national land-grant university, serving the people of Idaho is embedded in our DNA.
We began as a valued institution for Idaho in 1889, and we’ve grown to serve Idahoans in every one of the state’s 44 counties as partners in education, business, research, and more.
As I told the Idaho Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, we value our partnership with the state as well as more than 250 business partners with whom we’re producing research and spurring economic development. In addition to researching new solutions, our work expands the economy through technology transfer and licensing intellectual property. These efforts contribute significantly to the nearly $1 billion we add to Idaho’s economy each year.
As partners with Idaho’s counties, our UI Extension educators actively promote agriculture, health, community development and other beneficial programs, including youth leadership. This partnership, in conjunction with thousands of volunteers, also benefits 36,000 students in the 4-H youth development programs. Studies show 4-H increases academic success and workplace success while curbing crime and other negative behaviors.
We’re also partners with the nearly 40,000 alumni across the state and more than 55,000 across the world. I met with many alumni in the Treasure and Magic Valleys this week. We work together with our alumni to benefit their communities through events, educational programs, and outreach efforts to potential students.
These and other efforts translate into the University of Idaho working directly with nearly 500,000 Idahoans each year. This isn’t about these individuals watching a sporting event or reading promotional material. It’s about developing a relationship with the university. For many, their first contact will promote further partnership efforts and shared successes.
In the end, all of Idaho benefits, but we don’t stop there. Our work extends beyond the state boundaries to benefit our nation and our world.
Our focus on partnerships continues to inspire brighter futures through cooperative efforts today.
M. Duane Nellis
Nellis Outlines U-Idaho’s Statewide Impact, Continuing Partnership with State Legislature. The University of Idaho is partnering with the Idaho legislature to support and inspire the future of Idaho’s citizens. That’s the message that M. Duane Nellis, university president, delivered to members of the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee on behalf of the state’s land-grant university.
Nellis requested funded salary increases, also referred to as Change in Employee Compensation, stating that “supporting our outstanding faculty and staff – and retaining them in the face of national competition for their expertise – continues to be our number one priority.” He also requested an enrollment workload adjustment, which helps to cover the direct costs of educating additional students. Additionally, occupancy costs, much like the enrollment workload adjustment, are needed to provide direct funding for operating expenses, such as utilities and maintenance for facilities.
“With the State Board of Education, we’re requesting funds for five new seats for WWAMI students,” said Nellis. “This would bring the number of seats available for Idaho students to 25 at a cost of roughly $250,000 per year and would move us toward the State Board of Education’s goal of 40 students per class.”
Nellis also requested $400,000 to add a second-year curriculum to the already existing and highly successful third-year curriculum for the College of Law in Boise that educates an Idaho-oriented legal workforce that serve the state’s business and governmental needs.
“The university is also requesting $196,000 to fund the new Rangeland Center established by the legislature last year,” said Nellis. “This center will help address critical issues as wildland fire and the sage grouse status.”
As safety and basic maintenance remains a priority, Nellis asked for resources to use towards the university’s total deferred maintenance needs, which currently exceed $200 million.
“Of course, we need to look to the future as well. The Permanent Building Fund Advisory Council has recommended approval of $2.5 million this year as seed money for the Integrated Research and Innovation Center in Moscow that will be built primarily through bonding ($30 million) as well as private donations ($15 million). This significant movement forward supports our cutting-edge research and education. This building will be the first academic structure built on our Moscow campus in nearly 10 years, and we are excited about what it will mean to our students and our state,” said Nellis.
Second-year Law Curriculum in Boise Receives Boost from Generous Donor. The Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation has donated $100,000 to help launch the University of Idaho’s second-year law curriculum in Boise. The foundation previously committed $1 million to the University of Idaho for “tenant-specific” improvements in the ongoing renovation of the historic Ada County Courthouse. “The Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation makes strategic investments in Idaho’s future,” said Don Burnett, dean of the College of Law. “The foundation has chosen to invest in the University of Idaho’s statewide mission in legal education. We are deeply grateful for this support of our enhanced teaching, scholarship and service in the state capital.” The curriculum, authorized in October by the Board of Regents of the University of Idaho, will expand educational opportunities for students and will enhance the College of Law’s scholarship and teaching in business law, entrepreneurism and economic development. The State Board further authorized submission of a funding request to the governor and the legislature to help underwrite the year-to-year costs of faculty, library, and operational expenses for the second-year program. For more information on giving to the College of Law, contact Terri Muse, director of development at (208) 364-4044 or firstname.lastname@example.org.