A Strategic Vision
Over the next decade, UI will tackle ambitious goals to excel as a leader in research, outreach and education
From the top of the University of Idaho’s ASUI-Kibbie Activity Center — the domed icon of the Moscow campus — President Chuck Staben takes in a rarely seen view of the historic university. From this high point, he can see modern research, educational and living spaces taking their place next to UI’s venerable facilities.
The 360-degree view invites reflection: What will our university be in the future? What does it need to be for the state, the students, and the research and outreach goals that it serves?
“A public research university is an incredible asset to students and to the state of Idaho,” Staben said. “Higher education and the research we do at this university have never been more valuable.”
Charting the future of Idaho’s land-grant university requires two things: A vision for the institution, and a blueprint to transform that vision into action. A comprehensive institution needs a comprehensive plan.
“The good news is that the University of Idaho is already in an outstanding position,” Staben said. “We have an opportunity to apply our land-grant and research university strengths to expand our impact, and especially to make higher education relevant for more students.”
The process, which included input from faculty, staff, alumni and stakeholders across the university, resulted in a document that outlines the agenda for UI’s next decade. Ambitious goals include expanding access to higher education for more students, generating research that benefits Idaho and the world, broadening engagement to transform communities, and ensuring a vibrant campus community for students, faculty and staff.
“A good strategic plan provides the blueprint for a university’s growth and sustained success,” Wiencek said. “We’re confident we’ve arrived at an effective road map that will help us continue to evolve to higher levels of excellence in the next decade.”
Into the Future
In 2025, the University of Idaho holds the door open to a diverse student body, with 50 percent more students than in 2016. On their way to rewarding careers and great lives, those students enjoy technology and facilities that hold up to the test of time and adapt to changing needs. Among those spaces are the renovated College of Education, remodeled UI Library and new facilities for medical education in Idaho’s WWAMI Medical Education Program.
Students are living in revamped and newly constructed residence halls, and the university has completed its effort to build stronger connections across campus, linking the Arboretum and Greek housing along Nez Perce Drive with the Shattuck Arboretum and academic mall. The Idaho Arena, just north of the Kibbie Dome, contributes to an exciting environment for students and fans and realizes a long-awaited dream of a stand-alone facility for student-athletes in basketball and volleyball.
In 2025, research projects aimed at addressing the challenges of the future have a home in the Integrated Research and Innovation Center and the Aquaculture Research Laboratory. The Idaho Law and Justice Learning Center in Boise gives students the opportunity to earn a three-year law degree in the state capital. In order to attain R1 “highest research activity” status from Carnegie — a national standard for assessing colleges and universities —the UI of 2025 has bolstered its research capacity, added terminal degree paths and dramatically increased invention disclosures and technology commercialization.
The View Beyond Moscow
What you can’t see today from the Kibbie Dome roof is how UI’s mission expands beyond Moscow. UI is constantly looking to meet the needs of Idaho’s residents and create new collaborations in areas such as dairy and beef cattle, rangeland research and water management. Science and technology — in everything from clean energy to cybersecurity — remain important teaching and research topics from Idaho Falls to Coeur d’Alene. In every corner of the state, UI leads a change in Idaho’s college-going culture to cultivate a well-educated, more prosperous citizenry.
What will a 2025 climb to the top of the Dome find? What kind of institution will be revealed below — and beyond? What kind of world will that institution have helped shape? The view is lofty — and so are the university’s aspirations.
“When I look at UI in the next decade, I see a university that reaches more people, changes more lives, and accelerates innovation and discovery on a new scale,” Staben said. “We have a bright future ahead of us. The University of Idaho can and will become one of the nation’s great public research universities. That success can transform the world we live in.”
Article by Brian Keenan, University Communications and Marketing