Dear Faculty and Staff:
A number of you have asked for an update about the University's efforts to clarify our position on the State Board of Education's decision to remove the word flagship from the university mission statement.
I have made it clear to the State Board that their decision was very disappointing, and I will continue to carry that message both publicly and privately not only to the State Board but also to others. As a long-time faculty member, I understand the importance of the University of Idaho's identity and reputation on our capacity to achieve excellence in all aspects of our work.
My message to the SBOE and others is clear: the University of Idaho has been, is, and always will be the flagship university of the state of Idaho. To strive for or identify ourselves as anything less would be a disservice to all of us who work every day to make this University the most impactful in our region and to provide the most outstanding education possible for the students we serve. We remain deeply and firmly committed to our core mission of advancing knowledge for the west and the world through student success and statewide leadership.
To help you track this issue, I’ve included some links below to a number of communications I have issued over the past week. As I'm sure you're aware, both ASUI and the UI Alumni Association, through their own communications, are expressing concern about this issue. Further, the Faculty Senate passed a resolution Tuesday reasserting our flagship status, and many in the legislature have expressed concern relative to this board action.
You can find more information about the specifics of our role on the university website. I also discussed the matter in last week’s Friday Letter. Finally, I encourage you to join me on Facebook for updates on this and other issues.
As always, I appreciate the outstanding work and boundless energy of the community that is the University of Idaho.
Please let me, or any member of my executive staff, know if you have additional questions. It's my privilege to lead this flagship, national, land-grant research university.