The impact our people, programs and students have on Idaho’s economy and the entire agricultural ecosystem creates a return on investment in every community across this state.
We help farmers produce higher yields and prosper, we protect our country and the world from cyberattacks, and we work to ensure every qualified high school graduate who wants a college education has that opportunity at the University of Idaho.
We have a mission of preparing students for careers and life – as well as research and service – that benefits our entire state. That’s seen in the nearly 12,000 students who call themselves Vandals, 72% of which are from Idaho. It’s felt in the $115 million in research U of I performed last year that benefits our forests, fields, streams and technical infrastructure. It’s served through our Extension offices that provide resources to each of Idaho’s 44 counties. It’s helped by Project ECHO, which connects the state’s doctors to address the opioid epidemic.
Fulfilling our mission in the most cost-effective and efficient way is critical as we strive to serve the citizens of Idaho. Every dollar spent at the University of Idaho is put to work educating our citizens. We provide $30 million in scholarships and waivers to help our students with college costs and improve the go-on rate in Idaho. We leverage our state investment to obtain federal research dollars.
The return on that investment is an improved standard of living and innovation in key sectors of Idaho’s economy, which contribute to the overall quality of life for those who call this great state home. That shows up in our economic impact of $1.1 billion annually.
I’ll meet with state budget writers next week at the Idaho Legislature and tout that return on investment. It’s important to showcase the good work Vandals do every day through our university and the impactful programs we bring to communities across Idaho.
This is the same message I’ll share with legislators. I encourage you to share this message with your own representative. We cannot repeat it enough. U of I has played a role in Idaho’s shared livelihood for more than 130 years. We are the state’s land-grant research university. We are made by Idaho, in Idaho, for Idaho.