Focusing the Spotlight: Education Week at the Legislature
Higher education will be front and center next week in the state capital when colleges and universities around the state give presentations to lawmakers. President M. Duane Nellis will give a University presentation to the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee on Monday.
In addition, legislators will hear from Dean Hammel, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences on Monday about the Agricultural Research and Extension Service. And on Wednesday, students and the Alumni Association will host Legislative Day at the Capitol Building. A proclamation for University of Idaho Higher Education Day kicks off the event.
“We want to show legislators what makes the University of Idaho important to the state,” says event co-chair Tim Helmke, alumni relations associate director.
Legislative Day is very visual and informative and takes place on the fourth floor of the Capitol Building Rotunda. It will feature displays from colleges, programs and centers. To help legislators navigate the many displays, Helmke has recruited 40 students to spend the day with their legislator in Boise and articulate their positive student experience.
“The best face of the University we can offer is our students,” says Helmke.
Helmke says the student voice and experience are one way lawmakers will be able to see the impact the University has had on their lives. In return, legislators will be able to meet the next generation of leaders for the state of Idaho. In most cases, the students meeting with legislators are actually from the district they represent.
As students spend the day with their legislators, the rotunda will be filled with 21 displays from colleges, each University center, and organizations and programs like Extension and STEM.
“We’re really trying to focus research projects coming out of the University, with some focus on the student experience,” says event co-chair Sandy Larsen, assistant director of events. “We expect to have quite a few deans and leaders at the event.”
Nellis will join deans, program directors, and development officers who will be on hand to answer questions.
“We want legislators to know how important our programs are to the state and the economy,” says Larsen.
This year, Larsen and Helmke are hoping that by using students as guides for the day will help make the message more personal.
“I’m excited, it will be nice to have all the students, faculty and Joe Vandal in Boise,” says Larsen.
In his presentation to JFAC, Nellis make presentations Nellis will emphasize U-Idaho’s positive impact on the state’s economy, focus on the University’s research enterprise, and stress the need for investment in higher education. . The Silver-Gold Awards ceremony for Ada County, the alumni board meeting and the foundation board will all also take place next week.