Nellis Outlines U-Idaho’s Statewide Impact, Continuing Partnership with State Legislature

Thursday, January 24 2013


MOSCOW, Idaho – The University of Idaho is partnering with the Idaho legislature to support and inspire the future of Idaho’s citizens.

That’s the message that M. Duane Nellis, university president, delivered to members of the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee on behalf of the state’s land-grant university.

“This legislative investment also benefits 36,000 students in the 4-H youth development programs,” said Nellis. “With help of thousands of volunteers, studies have shown this program increases academic success and workplace success.”

Nellis requested funded salary increases, also referred to as Change in Employee Compensation stating that “supporting our outstanding faculty and staff – and retaining them in the face of national competition for their expertise – continues to be our number one priority.”

He also requested an enrollment workload adjustment, which helps to cover the direct costs of educating additional students.

Additionally, occupancy costs, much like the enrollment workload adjustment, are needed to provide direct funding for operating expenses, such as utilities and maintenance for facilities.

“With the State Board of Education, we’re requesting funds for five new seats for WWAMI students,” said Nellis. “This would bring the number of seats available for Idaho students to 25 at a cost of roughly $250,000 per year and would move us toward the State Board of Education’s goal of 40 students per class.”
Nellis also requested $400,000 to add a second-year curriculum to the already existing nd highly successful third-year curriculum for the College of Law in Boise that educates an Idaho-oriented legal workforce that serve the state’s business and governmental needs.

“The university is also requesting $196,000 to fund the new Rangeland Center established by the legislature last year,” said Nellis. “This center will help address critical issues as wildland fire and the sage grouse status.”

As safety and basic maintenance remains a priority, Nellis asked for resources to use towards the university’s total deferred maintenance needs, which currently exceed $200 million.

“Of course, we need to look to the future as well. The Permanent Building Fund Advisory Council has recommended approval of $2.5 million this year as seed money for the Integrated Research and Innovation Center in Moscow that will be built primarily through bonding ($30M) as well as private donations ($15M). This significant movement forward supports our cutting-edge research and education. This building will be the first academic structure built on our Moscow campus in nearly 10 years, and we are excited about what it will mean to our students and our state,” said Nellis.

The University of Idaho contributes to the state in many ways: through research that is important to Idaho, from agriculture to water, from climate and natural resource management to engineering, and the humanities.

“Through your investments in the University of Idaho we provide a vital innovation engine for our state’s economy and quality of life,” said Nellis.

In prepared remarks, Nellis shared the institutions continued contributions to Idaho’s history and success that today has contributed to nearly $1 billion to Idaho’s economy each year. As an institution that predates statehood, the University of Idaho is defined and inspired by its work with public and private entities statewide that benefit our citizens and the state at large.

Beyond the main campus in Moscow and its three other primary campus centers found in Coeur d’Alene, Boise and Idaho Falls, the University of Idaho has extension offices in 42 of the state’s 44 counties, and research facilities throughout the state. Their diverse programs support economic development through specific, localized programs.
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About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho inspires students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. Through the university’s $225 million Inspiring Futures capital campaign, private giving will enhance student learning, faculty research and innovation, and a spirit of enterprise. Learn more: www.uidaho.edu.