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

March 8, 2013

Dear Friends,

As many of you know, this has been an emotional week for Ruthie and me, and we appreciate the many, many notes expressing sadness at our departure as well as best wishes for our next assignment.

It has been my honor to serve you and this outstanding university for the last four years. We have accomplished a tremendous amount together. One important area of growth has been in reaching out to our state.

Since its early days, the University of Idaho has been committed to helping Idaho’s communities. We have consistently focused on excellence in teaching, research and outreach to benefit the entire state.

Our outreach to the state increased as we built on our Morrill Act mission by broadening our extension and research missions to reach across Idaho, however, the problems facing our communities have become more complex.  

Finding solutions requires us to be more deliberate in connecting our resources with communities, large and small. That’s why I established the Office of Community Partnerships, or OCP. It serves as an open door between the university and communities, building new partnerships and providing interdisciplinary responses to community needs. I’m proud that we were able to bring it to fruition during my tenure.

The OCP conducts and supports research and student projects focused on local priorities. It also links communities with UI Extension and other faculty from across the university. Since the OCP was established two years ago, it has developed four core areas of emphasis: food systems and food security; sustainability; Idaho’s growing Latino population; and community development. Further, the OCP develops conferences to address key economic and social needs.

This year, it is organizing the President’s Sustainability Symposium on March 19-20.  The event will take place at North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene and the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls, which will be connected by videoconference. The two-site format is designed to give participants a high-quality conference experience while including community leaders that might not otherwise be able to travel to the event.

In response to priorities expressed by communities, this year’s symposium focuses on wastewater treatment and solid waste management. Speakers will showcase cost-saving practices, scale-appropriate and new technologies, and economic development opportunities.

The theme is community stewardship for economic benefits. The focus may not be sexy, but it’s what community leaders say they need help with – waste management. Today, communities are facing skyrocketing costs but also see potential for gaining new revenues. Speakers will showcase cost-saving practices, new technologies, and economic development opportunities. The conference and the efforts of the OCP will help build awareness and partnerships that can make a difference across Idaho.

That’s what we’re about at the University of Idaho – making a positive difference for Idaho’s future.

Thanks for being a partner in this effort.

Throughout the years, your support and advocacy have been an inspiration to me, and I cannot overstate the tremendous impact your engagement with the University has on its progress and impact.   I look forward to a successful transition knowing that so many things that we’ve established together will continue to benefit our university, our state, and our nation for generations.


M. Duane Nellis

P.S. Next week is is our spring break.  I'll write you again on March 22.

The University of Idaho was named this week to the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction by the Corporation for National and Community Service.  This is the seventh year for the University of Idaho to be recognized and the second year for it to receive the “with distinction” honor.  Only two other institutions of higher education received similar honors. The honor roll recognizes those institutions most successful in benefiting communities outside their campuses.

U-Idaho Investment Education Featured Nationwide. The Barker Capital Management and Trading Program in the College of Business and Economics was featured on cable news and on-line sites in a story entitled, “How Your Kids Are Learning Not to Blow Your Cash.” The Barker Trading Program may be the only one in the United States that allows students to make real-world trades across the range of investments rather than employing simulations or mutual fund purchases.

The Art Of 'Learning To Learn' Brings Success For A Generous Couple To Pay Forward.
James ’59 and Doreen Terrill have been supporters of the University of Idaho for decades since they left Moscow and entered the corporate world. Early in his career, James realized his education at Idaho prepared him better than he expected for corporate America better. “It became quite clear as the competitive nature of my work became more intensive that I was given all the tools needed to succeed,” said James. “Most importantly, Idaho taught Doreen and I how to learn. We truly believe in the University of Idaho and want to help create the same opportunities for students today.” James is currently a retired president of a Fortune 500 company. In addition to the education they received, the Terrills also remember fondly their social experience at Idaho, including the time Doreen and James work as proctor and hostess to the men in Shoup and Upham Hall dormitories. The Terrills continue to be generous supporters of the University. Two weeks ago, when called by Vandal Connect, James pledged $16,000 to support Vandal Athletics. Cumulatively, the Terrills have donated over $1 million to U-Idaho and are members of the 1889 Society. For more information on giving to the University of Idaho, contact Meghann Kolb at (208) 885-5205 or