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

The Friday Letter

September 28, 2012

Dear Friends,

Amidst all the university’s activities each week, one of the things I most enjoy is interacting with faculty, staff, students and alumni. Earlier in the week, I met with Charles Buck, CEO for UI-Coeur d’Alene, several alumni and city leaders in Coeur d’Alene -- many of whom are leaders of the Education Corridor project -- which is intended as the Higher Education Campus.  I am pleased that the University of Idaho is part of this effort. 

A multi-stage, multi-year collaboration between the University of Idaho, North Idaho College, Lewis-Clark State College and the city of Coeur d’Alene, the project’s purpose is to grow the region’s economy through educational efforts and applied research – efforts that speak to our land-grant mission.

Since then, I’ve made the trek across the country to meet face-to-face with some of our East Coast Vandals at academic and donor meetings scheduled in tandem with my travel to tomorrow’s football game, where the Vandals face the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. 

Interestingly enough, it’ll be a Vandal piloting the KC-135 Stratotanker in the flyover leading up to the UNC-Idaho football game coin toss. Alumnus and U.S. Air Force Capt. Jonathan Rey flies out of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, N.C. He is a member of the 911th Air Refueling Squadron and a proud graduate of our ROTC program. His crew will be composed of Tar Heels alumni.

After a stop in Washington, D.C. for a joint White House and U.S. Department of Commerce event focused on promoting university-based innovation and entrepreneurship, I’m heading back to Moscow for homecoming

In addition to such traditions as the serpentine march, bonfire, fireworks and parade (with Jerry Kramer as Grand Marshall), the Vandals will take on New Mexico State’s football team.

There are many newer events, as well as some unique intersections. The popular food drive and other service events are joined by a job fair, the Bellwood Memorial Lecture featuring Kenneth Feinberg and the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Women’s Center, which includes Gloria Steinem’s keynote address, “Women’s Legacies, Inspiring Our Future.”

I hope to see many of our alumni and friends at this years’ homecoming. For those of you unable to be here in person, you will soon be able to “meet” fellow alumni and reminisce about earlier days at your university. Plans call for the digitized repository of the Gem of the Mountains yearbooks to be added to our library’s digital special collections. They’ll follow a number of other efforts to make available historic mining letters and photographs and a collection of our U-Idaho theses and dissertations viewable online.

The tempo doesn’t stop, but underlying everything is a University community committed to excellence and the future. That’s something common to our alumni today and something we’re building into our alumni in-the-making. It’s part of that unique dimension that makes being a Vandal something to be celebrated.


M. Duane Nellis

U-Idaho Counseling Programs Earn Highest Marks. In the most recent round of testing completed this fall, the University of Idaho’s rehabilitation and school counseling students collectively achieved a 100 percent pass rate on their professional certification examinations. Those arduous, comprehensive exams are administered outside of the university by independent national boards. They are are required for individuals to practice as counselors at schools or in many other settings. “This success rate is well above the average,” said Susan Stuntzner, assistant professor and program coordinator for the university’s rehabilitation counseling program in Coeur d’Alene. “That’s an achievement that reflects well on our students, and it really speaks to the strengths of our program.”  

U-Idaho Welcomes New Faculty -- Business. The university welcomed 47 new faculty members this year.  Two are serving in the College of Business and Economics. Jane Weiss (B.S., 1988, University of Wisconsin, Whitewater; M.Acct., 1995, University of Georgia; Ph.D., 2001, University of Wisconsin, Madison) joined the college as an assistant professor of accounting.  George Tanner (B.S., 1975, West Virginia University; M.B.A., 1976, West Virginia University) joined the college as an instructor of entrepreneurship. Tanner most recently taught at Northwest Arkansas Community College where he was the Sam Walton Free Enterprise Fellow and served as Entrepreneurship Coordinator.

Micron Matching Program Aids Alumni Giving. Micron Technology, Inc. has a long history of investing in education and innovation at the University of Idaho both through its matching gift program and through direct programmatic investments.  The Micron Foundation has continued its annual support of microelectronics education and research in the College of Engineering. This important partnership funds the development of computer simulations that help engineers develop higher density memory products. “I truly thank the Micron Foundation for their ongoing and strategic support," said Larry Stauffer, dean of the College of Engineering. "Many of the engineers at Micron are Idaho graduates, and we look forward to delivering the next generation of talented engineers to this world-class leader in the microelectronics industry.” One such alumnus is Brent Keeth ‘82, ‘96, a senior fellow at Micron recognized as one of the world’s preeminent memory designers. Brent generously gives back to Idaho through Micron’s matching gift program and by serving on the College of Engineering Advisory Board. For more information on corporate, foundation or organizational giving to the University of Idaho, contact Chris Murray at (208) 885-6155 or or for the College of Engineering, contact Mary Lee Ryba at (208) 755-4916 or