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Friday Letter Archive

The Friday Letter is U of I’s long-running, weekly message straight from the president to members of the Vandal family. Each week during the academic year, and with breaks for holidays, the president offers an update on Vandal teaching and learning, research and scholarship, and notable initiatives and priorities. Alumni and friends are welcome to join students, faculty and staff in receiving the newsletter.

Letter from the President
Office of the President | president@uidaho.edu
Jan. 17, 2020
Dear Vandals,
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.

Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
President
Snapshots

NEWS from U of I

Vandals' New Digs Will Be 'Game-Changer' for Athletes: Via Construction Equipment Guide: After years of planning, the University of Idaho has broken ground on a dedicated basketball arena.

Assistant Professor's Research Featured: A research article written by Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering Assistant Professor Soumya Srivastava was recently selected for publication in Applied Physics Reviews.

Paul Hohenlohe One of Four Highly Cited Researchers: Paul Hohenlohe, an associate professor in the Biological Sciences Department, is one of four U of I faculty members recognized by Web of Science Group as a highly cited researcher.

Pride points
Nominate a Grain Bin, Elevator or Barn for a Vandal Makeover: Help us tell the University of Idaho’s story along the highways and byways throughout the Gem State. Learn more >

Letter from the President
Office of the President | president@uidaho.edu
Jan. 10, 2020
Dear Vandals,
University of Idaho flags wave proudly at our homes. We have “I” stickers on our cars. I’ve wrapped my pickup truck in silver and gold to let people know the Vandals are in town.

Vandals are everywhere, in every community in Idaho, so let’s continue to make our presence known. One way we can tell the University of Idaho story, and reiterate that agriculture is our foundation, is to enhance the grain bins and grain elevators along our highways with pride gold and black lettering. We can transform our alumni-owned and Vandal-supported farms and barns with road signs sporting Vandal graphics.


 

Our land-grant mission extends to each of Idaho’s 44 counties. Let’s show it with signs, building wraps and paint along our state’s roadways. Our generous donors are prepared to have barns and grain bins “Vandalized” this spring across Idaho. We just have to pick the best locations.

Fill out the form on our website to volunteer your property, or to identify an agricultural fixture in your community that would be ideal for a long-term Vandal billboard. All the property owner has to do is donate the space. U of I will cover the cost of graphics, materials and installation thanks to the support of private donations designated for the purpose of telling the Vandal story.

These outside-the-box elevators, grain bins, silos and road signs will serve as a permanent fixture, complementing the billboards, bus wraps and television ads you’ve seen throughout Idaho and eastern Washington over the past several months. They provide a lasting reminder that all of Idaho is Vandal Country.

The first Vandal grain bins and elevators are slated for installation once the weather improves this spring. Each graphic will last for three to five years, or longer depending on maintenance.

It’s another step in our marketing efforts that are gaining traction in Idaho and beyond. We have empowered alumni with a toolkit to recruit students and build community support. We have “Vandalized” more than 1,000 alumni classrooms with pennants so teachers can show off their Vandal experience.

These grain bins, elevators and road signs connect directly to our agricultural roots, starting with one of the best Colleges of Agricultural and Life Sciences in the country. They represent a commitment to our land-grant mission of teaching, discovery and service.

Let’s continue to tell our story in a homegrown and sustained way.

Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
President
Latest News

from U of I

Idaho Net Farm Income Record Expected

From Boise State Public Radio: Idaho’s net farm income for 2019 is expected to be up 50% from 2018, according to a University of Idaho ag economist. Net farm income, which represents revenue minus the costs of inputs and production, could reach $2.7 billion — a record high. Read more >
Pride points
A new University of Idaho facility at Parma, designed to support Idaho agriculture, is one step closer to reality thanks to a $1 million investment by the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation. Learn more >

Letter from the President
Office of the President | president@uidaho.edu
Dec. 20, 2019
Happy Holidays from the Green Family,
There's nothing like coming home to a special place surrounded by people close to your heart. As a proud member of the Vandal Family, I'm so happy to be back in Moscow serving as the University of Idaho’s 19th president.

Thank you for your continued support and dedication to the University of Idaho. Enjoy this festive time of year in Idaho and everywhere Vandals call home. From our family to yours, have a wonderful holiday season!

Go Vandals! 

Letter from the President
Office of the President | president@uidaho.edu
Dec. 13, 2019
Dear Vandals,
My grandfather used to say that an education is something no one can ever take away from you. 

I have found these words to be true. A University of Idaho degree is a valuable asset that has served me well throughout my life. I never thought I’d end up in New York or travel to all corners of the world working for global law firms. Your career can take you surprising places if you let it.

That’s the power of a Vandal degree, something we’ll celebrate Saturday during Winter Commencement in Moscow. More than 600 students will graduate this semester and join the ranks of Vandal alumni as we mark the 125th commencement year at U of I. This winter’s graduates have shown they are well-prepared to enter the workforce and navigate their own path.

Graduate Jessica Matsaw of Pocatello found that opportunity right here in Idaho.

Jessica is a member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and is earning her Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. She’s served as a student-teacher this semester in Fort Hall and has a job lined up to put her degree to use educating Shoshone-Bannock students.

She’s already a Vandal alumna. Jessica earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology two years ago as a member of our Indigenous Knowledge for Effective Education Program – or IKEEP. IKEEP students learn the best ways to elevate Native American communities through education.

This kind of education and outreach is the reason we’re all here. Jessica is preparing the future leaders of our state as a teacher with a Vandal degree as her blueprint.

A story like Jessica’s is behind each of the 444 bachelor’s degrees, 132 master’s degrees, 22 doctoral degrees, nine law degrees and five specialist degrees U of I is conferring this semester.

Some of our graduates will stay close to home. Some will end up in remote areas of our world. All will end up doing things they’ve never imagined.

This is an exciting moment for our graduates. It’s a time for them to take some risks, to work hard, to make a difference. They’ve always got their U of I degree and the Vandal network to boost them up.

Join me in congratulating these graduates. They are the newest ambassadors for our Vandal Family. We’ll be cheering them on as they tell their story.  

Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
President
Snapshots

VANDALS in the Spotlight

Engineering Students Earn Power and Energy Society Scholarships: Four College of Engineering students, Lance Carr, Christine Page, Kenny Sheffler and Nikki Tran, are Power and Energy Society Scholarship Plus Initiative recipients.

Alumni Awards for Excellence Celebrates 40 Years: The Office of Alumni Relations recognized 42 outstanding graduating seniors and the students’ mentors during the annual Awards for Excellence program. 

Interdisciplinary Art and Field Research Receive Summer Grants: The College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences has named the awardees of its 2020 CLASS Summer Research Grants that support tenure-track and tenured faculty in the creation of a sustainable research or creative project.

Professor Emeritus Receives Highest Distinction as Academic Inventor: College of Engineering Professor Emeritus Dean Edwards has been named a 2019 National Academy of Inventors Fellow.

Pride points
We had a great time ushering in the holiday season with the University of Idaho Alumni Association during Tuesday's Davenport Holiday Dinner in Spokane, Washington, including a festive and amazing performance by the Vandaleers. See event pictures >

Letter from the President
Office of the President | president@uidaho.edu
Dec. 6, 2019
Dear Vandals,
Research doesn’t have to take place in the lab. 

University of Idaho researchers prove that every day. Steelhead monitoring on the Clearwater River is helped by Associate Fisheries Management Professor Mike Quist and his graduate students. They’ve determined through tagging and interviews that most anglers have much more interaction with hatchery fish than wild fish, knowledge that will be used when fisheries managers set harvest limits.

That’s an important finding. Economic data show salmon and steelhead fisheries bring in around $90 million to the state economy each year.

The Idaho Botanical Garden and five Native American tribes of Idaho know their exact impact on the Gem State thanks to data crunched by U of I economist Steve Peterson and his students. His 2016 study on the economic impact of Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport prompted airport leaders to move forward with a multi-million dollar runway realignment that recently came online.

Students are central to Vandal research. Tara Kriz spent last summer in Alaska in search of the elusive pika, a relative of the rabbit. The Boise student is working with Assistant Professor Sophie Gilbert to test how encroaching vegetation affects the small mammal. Knowing how the smallest animals adapt to climate change will help researchers make predictions for the rest of the ecosystem.

Our student researchers studied everything from Northwest volcano eruptions to Galápagos Island snail evolution and antelope diets in the field last summer. This field work gives them hands-on experience to help them in their future careers and in grad school.

Significant work is also taking place inside the lab. U of I researchers including Shirley Luckhart and Brandi Torrevillas are working with Washington State University on ways to limit the spread of West Nile, Zika and dengue viruses by mosquitoes. And a U of I-led team recently identified and cloned a gene that can fend off a disease impacting wheat and barley.

Important scholarship takes place across Vandal Country. It’s a daily occurrence on our Moscow campus and at our locations across Idaho. But it’s also taking place in fields, streams, forests and mountains around the globe. 

U of I highlights this research through our Vandal Explorer Series, a project that showcases the far-off places U of I students travel in the name of discovery. You can also learn about our faculty researchers through The Vandal Theory, a weekly podcast on topics including early photography, single-use plastics and protection from cyber-attacks. 

We conducted $115 million in research last year as a university. Between half and two-thirds of our students participate each year. That experience is exactly why employees love hiring Vandals. They not only have the skills to do the job, they are at the cutting edge of their fields of study.

This work is the cornerstone of our land-grant mission – and it leaves an indelible imprint on the world. We’re eager to see what’s next. 

Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
President
Latest News

from U of I

Vandal Brand Meats for the Holiday Season

Eight student teams from the Margaret Ritchie School of Family and Consumer Sciences created holiday-appropriate dishes that reflect the joy and comfort of the season. See all the recipes >

30th Annual Holiday Concert Dec. 13

Hundreds of Palouse-area school-aged singers will join the U of I Jazz Choir for the 30th annual Jazz Choirs Holiday Concert Dec. 13 in the ASUI-Kibbie Activity Center. Admission is free. Get the details >
Did you know?
The U of I landscape crew sprays about 100 Moscow campus trees with a natural repellent of skunk scent and fox urine, as well as a sticking agent, to protect them from theft and destruction during the holiday season. Learn about the tree-spraying program >

Letter from the President
Office of the President | president@uidaho.edu
Nov. 22, 2019
Dear Vandals,
University of Idaho leaders shine because of our students. That’s especially true for student leaders. The Associated Students of the University of Idaho (ASUI) work hard to advocate on behalf of today’s Vandals. They have a great representative in ASUI President Jacob Lockhart.

Jacob jumped into student government as a freshman and hasn’t looked back. He’s continued to seek out opportunities to represent the Vandals, including as a proud leader in our Greek system and as a representative on both our Sustainable Financial Model and Student Experience working groups. Originally from Coeur d’Alene, Jacob will graduate in the spring after majoring in political science and economics.

Jacob has an enthusiasm for this place that I’m excited to share.

Scott Green: Tell us about yourself. What brought you to the University of Idaho?
Jacob Lockhart: I always knew I was going to be a Vandal. I had a University of Idaho Homecoming poster hung in my room since I was young, and I come from a really strong Vandal Family. It really felt like I was coming home when I got to campus for orientation.
 
SG: I know that feeling of coming home. You’ve been heavily involved in U of I activities since your freshman year. What prompted you to become such an active member of the campus community?
JL: I was an active student in high school before I came to the U of I, and I knew I wouldn’t be happy with myself if I didn’t get involved. I had heard really incredible things about the Department of Student Involvement so one day I just walked up there and literally asked “how can I get involved?” The rest was history.
 
SG: When it comes to the student experience, where does U of I excel?
JL: I have always appreciated the people at this university and how I can turn to just about anyone for help on just about anything. Having that connection means the world to me as a student.
 
SG: There are moments in college that shape us for life. What Vandal experience, so far, is that moment for you?
JL: This one is actually a really hard question for me to answer. I have honestly had so many life-shaping experiences that it’s hard for me to choose. I would have to say that one moment that was particularly meaningful for me was being able to meet former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power. Power is someone I admire greatly, and having the opportunity to meet her in person was a reality I never thought possible.
 
SG: What do you hope to accomplish in your term as ASUI president? What are your priorities for student government?
JL: We are focused on big-picture initiatives and things that will make a long-term impact for students. Right now, we are exploring options for a Vandal resource app, which would make accessing campus resources easier for every student. We are also working on securing a campus polling location not just for the upcoming 2020 election, but hopefully the next decade of elections. Lastly, we are working on ensuring the Idaho Student Union Building (ISUB) becomes the premier student space on campus. We hope to do this through the full establishment of the majority student ISUB Board and a subsequent proposal process. Ultimately, our goal is to expand student resources, improve health and safety, and reimagine student spaces to put Vandals first.
 
SG: What are your plans after earning your University of Idaho degree?
JL: After U of I my plan is to go on to law school. I really have to get focused on the LSAT, but after that I guess the plan is to start searching for where my future will take me.
 
Thank you, Jacob. You set a great example for our students and the Vandal Family. Keep telling our story. We’re lucky to have you.  

Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
President
Jacob Lockhart
ASUI President
Latest News

from U of I

Co-op Combines Classwork and Career

Luke Hill has a knack for seeking out the most efficient and productive path. So the Sagle native was naturally drawn to U of I's Cooperative Education Program (Co-op) — combining well-paid, on-the-job experience with his education. Read more >

Questions Answered with Keystrokes

When molecular modeler Jagdish Patel sits down at his keyboard, he doesn’t model global markets or fancy homes. Instead, the U of I research assistant professor focuses on how microscopic biomolecules interact. Read more >
Snapshots

Spotlight on Students

U of I Idaho Falls Takes First in CyberForce Competition: From the Idaho Falls Post Register: Students from the University of Idaho, Idaho Falls celebrated after taking first place locally in the 2019 Department of Energy CyberForce Competition held at Idaho National Laboratory.

Gibbs Awarded Berry International Jazz Collections Fellowship: The U of I Library has awarded Mitch Gibbs, a senior majoring in music education from Snohomish, Washington, the fellowship to increase visibility and use of the International Jazz Collections.

Internship Offers Chance to Work at Taylor Wilderness Research Station: Clayton Christensen, a sophomore in environmental science, spent summer 2019 scanning cliffsides for bighorn sheep in one of the most remote areas of the country.


*|MC:SUBJECT|*

Letter from the President
Office of the President | president@uidaho.edu
Nov. 15, 2019
Dear Vandals,
Supportive families are vital to student success.

That support was important when I was a student at the University of Idaho. It’s just as important for today’s Vandals as they navigate their studies and find a path in life toward careers.

Parents and families are partners in our students’ success. That’s why this week’s Parent and Family Weekend is so important for moms, dads, brothers, sisters and other extended family members to visit campus, meet our faculty and staff, and engage with the broader U of I community. I am looking forward to my mother, brothers, aunt and uncle joining me this weekend to celebrate. I wish everyone a safe and fun weekend on campus.

The Vandal Family is a wonderful thing. We have pride in U of I and the time we spent on this campus. We see it when our alumni return and in families where the Idaho legacy is a part of many generations and histories.   

That close-knit feeling also materializes in the way we support our students.

It shows up through our Counseling and Testing Center, staffed by psychologists, counselors and social workers who can assist with the unique challenges faced by today’s college students, to ensure they get the support they need.

Our Vandal Health Education program offers classes and workshops for students on everything from healthy cooking to quitting smoking to support their well-being in the classroom and in life after college.

The university’s Holiday Break Bus routes ensure students get home safely to their families. It stops throughout Idaho, Washington and Oregon for Thanksgiving, Winter Break and Spring Break.

These services are all part of how we build a supportive community for today’s students.

It’s also important that we step up if a member of our Vandal Family is in distress. Our VandalCARE reporting form allows anyone to report when we feel a member of the community isn’t getting the help they need.

One addition we’re excited about is our Vandal Health Clinic’s recent return to campus. The clinic, a partnership with Gritman Moscow Family Medicine, provides healthcare services to the entire campus community by medical professionals. The clinic officially returned this week.

It’s important we have pride in supporting our students and giving them the resources they need – whether inside the classroom or out. It’s our obligation as members of the Vandal Family.   

Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
President
Latest News

from U of I

Read Fall's Here We Have Idaho Magazine

U of I's twice-yearly alumni magazine recently hit mailboxes. All stories are also available online. Read the magazine >

Grateful for the Service of Vandal Veterans 

U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Brandon Shaughnessy (right), a senior studying exercise science and health, was awarded the Little Rock Scholarship by the USS Little Rock Association for superior leadership qualities and aptitude. A U of I/WSU Naval ROTC member has won the award three of the past four years. Learn about the award >

Taking Criminology Across the Pond

Now in its fifth year, Idaho Criminology Abroad takes students from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, along with WSU students, on a weeklong trip to different locations throughout Europe to compare and contrast global justice systems. Past trips have taken students to Amsterdam and London. Read the story >
Pride points
Vandal Volleyball clinched a spot in the Big Sky Conference Tournament with a 3-1 victory Tuesday over Eastern Washington. Go Vandals! Learn more >

Letter from the President
Office of the President | president@uidaho.edu
Nov. 8, 2019
Dear Vandals,
Building the nation’s largest research dairy has been a goal for the University of Idaho and our industry partners for more than a dozen years.

This week, we announced an important milestone

A $1 million gift from J.R. Simplot Company, combined with other contributions from industry, helped U of I unlock $10 million appropriated by the state of Idaho so our Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (CAFE) research dairy could begin the design and construction phase. 

The Magic Valley project will span three counties. The research dairy is located near Rupert, while a complementary discovery complex is located near Jerome and a collaborative food science program will be developed with the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls.

A 640-acre parcel will be home to the research dairy and demonstration farm. The Idaho Dairymen’s Association partnered with U of I in early 2019 to purchase a 540-acre site near Rupert from the Whitesides family, who donated an additional 100 acres to the project. 

As the third-largest milk producing state in the country, it’s important we support sustainable dairy production across southern Idaho. Building from the ground up enables research never before conducted on dairy operations at scale and will provide insight into the industry’s impact on land, water and its surrounding environment. 

Research at CAFE will explore long-term sustainability in the region by addressing water usage constraints and environmental quality while also supporting the dairy, livestock, cropland and food processing industries.  

This week was an important step, but we still have work to do. The university will take our plans to begin design on the project to the State Board of Education in December for approval. Construction is expected to begin in 2021 and will be completed in 2023.

U of I and the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences are grateful to the Simplot Company and other industry partners for their support in putting us over the top. We’re also thankful for the state of Idaho’s commitment to this project in support of agriculture and our dairy research.

Projects like CAFE demonstrate the importance of our land-grant mission and the impact it has throughout the Gem State and the world. CAFE’s influence through research and collaboration with the agricultural community will reach far beyond our borders. It’s through the help of our many partners that we are able to make it a reality.

Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
President
Latest News

from U of I

Appetizers Show Vandal Ecosystem at Work

Several of our students worked closely with the professionals at Vandals Dining to produce one of the appetizers for U of I's 2019 Gala and Recognition Dinner. It featured award-winning labneh cheese from Deary’s Brush Creek Creamery, created with milk from the U of I Dairy, that I bought at the Idaho Milk Processors Association auction. Learn about the students >

Professor Named 2019 White House Fellow

University of Idaho, Idaho Falls Assistant Professor Dakota Roberson has earned a 2019-20 White House Fellowship and will spend a year working for the U.S. Department of Defense. Selection is based on early career achievement, leadership skills, commitment to public service, effective teamwork and skills to succeed at the highest levels of government. Read more >

2020 Jazz Fest Ticket Sales Begin 

Series concert tickets for the University of Idaho’s Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, Feb. 28-29, 2020, are now on sale. Individual tickets will be available to purchase starting Nov. 15. See the Schedule >

Letter from the President
Office of the President | president@uidaho.edu
Nov. 1, 2019
Dear Vandals,
“Many hands make light work.” It’s truly a group effort for the University of Idaho to effectively fulfill its mission of teaching, discovery and service.

Our students, faculty and staff contribute every day in ways that elevate our institution to be the very best university it can be. That work is the reason our enrollment is stable, even increasing a bit in key areas. It’s why we’re achieving our fundraising goals – $51.8 million in the last fiscal year. Our budget situation is real, but we are tackling the problem head on and we are determined that it will not define who we are.

We can continue to make this the best university in the Pacific Northwest, even one of the best in the nation, by supporting our three strategic priorities – student success, research and telling our story.

One resource that can’t be found anywhere else in the state is the collective wisdom of our many advisory boards. These boards, representing our colleges, units and the U of I Foundation, meet today in Moscow to focus on the great education, research and scholarship we do throughout Idaho.

The daylong event is an important way our alumni contribute to the future of our institution. Alumni leaders provide advice and help us clarify our thinking on important matters. We are fortunate at U of I to have this resource. These advisory board members are respected decision makers in their communities, both in Idaho and places across the country.

As an alumnus of the Alumni Association National Board of Directors, College of Business and Economics Advisory Board and the Foundation Board, I’m familiar with the hard work they do to advance the University of Idaho. These boards serve as advisors and champions in our effort to spread the good word throughout Vandal Country. They are among our greatest ambassadors.

And to support them, our University Communications and Marketing team and the University Advancement team are launching a new brand ambassador program, complete with a toolkit that can be used to tell our Vandal story.

During our meetings today, we’re showcasing this program and toolkit to our alumni boards, empowering them to share their Vandal experience throughout their communities in an informed and enthusiastic way.

Telling our unique story with one voice will attract motivated students, inspire our alumni and nurture public support. We’ll be looking for their feedback on the toolkit, which will be used to shape and improve the program. The full brand ambassador initiative will be available for Vandals far and wide in early 2020.

Important, impactful work happens each and every day on our Moscow campus and at our centers, Extension and research sites across the state. We have much to be proud of. Let’s be excited about what we can accomplish together.

Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
President
Latest News

from U of I

Vandal Theory Podcast Enters a Second Season

The Vandal Theory podcast, featuring U of I researchers discussing their work, is now in its second season with episodes released weekly. Download and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and Google Play. Get the latest episode >

Debate Club Places at First Tournament

Student Debate Club members earned a total of four awards for speech and debate events at their first tournament of the year at Whitworth University. Seven student debate club members traveled Oct. 25-26 to Spokane, Washington. Read more >
Pride points
U of I reduced electrical usage in FY 2019, saving the Moscow campus over $2 million in electrical costs. Learn more >

Professor Jill Johnson in the Department of Biological Sciences has been awarded a four-year, $1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. Learn more >

University Advising Services Associate Directors Shawna Bertlin and Laura Robison have been named 2019 outstanding advisors by the National Academic Advising Association. Learn more >

Letter from the President
Office of the President | president@uidaho.edu
Oct. 25, 2019
Dear Vandals,
There’s a bright spot in our fall 2019 enrollment numbers that has me feeling optimistic about the future.

Our new freshman class is up 1.9% this year to 1,475 students. That’s 28 additional first-time students who chose the University of Idaho to start working their way toward a college degree. These students made a great choice and we are committed to helping them succeed. I am proud of the growth in this important area – it is part of our mission as Idaho’s land-grant university to provide access to education for our citizens. We are fulfilling that assignment.  

U of I’s overall enrollment is up slightly this fall to 11,926 students from 11,841 a year ago but down from over 12,000 in 2017. Full-time, on-campus student enrollment is down by a few tenths of a percent but has stabilized over the past four years.

In addition to our rising freshman class, graduate student enrollment is up 2.6% this fall to 1,803 students. U of I invested in more competitive packages for graduate teaching assistants two years ago, which has helped us fulfill our educational mission while supporting students in their graduate studies. Our grad students should see enhanced professional development opportunities as well.

Student enrollment from states served by the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) is 1,018 students, up from 724 in 2018. The WUE program provides a discount to students from across the West and was expanded in 2017.

The overall first-time, full-time student retention rate for fall is 77.3%, down from 80.7% a year ago. A new advising tool, VandalStar, aims to combat that. The tool is being fully implemented and provides coordinated support to all students to ensure they stay on track. With that tool and a new approach to student advising, we’re confident we can improve our retention rates.

We are encouraged by improvements in several areas but know we have work to do. The biggest hurdle more and more students face is unmet financial need, even after student loans and scholarships are taken into account. We are committed to addressing that need through our Vandal Promise Scholarship – the university’s fundraising priority. This renewable scholarship aims to fill the $5,000 gap many qualified students face in covering the cost of college attendance. Twenty-two students are already benefiting this fall from the fundraising effort – thanks to the private support from alumni and partners who see the value of investing in Vandal students.

This work is gradual and righting the ship takes time. We are making progress in the right direction and the overall enrollment picture reflects good teamwork across the university – our enrollment management, admissions and marketing teams in particular.

U of I is ever improving to meet the needs of today’s college-bound students. We’re doing good work to ensure student success. We’re telling our story. But we can’t do it alone. We need you. Your passion, and your ability to tell your Vandal story, make a critical difference in how we create life-changing experiences for the next generation.

Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
President
Latest News

from U of I

Fall Crowdfunding Campaigns Near End

The 11 fall U&I Give crowdfunding campaigns are open until midnight Tuesday. Crowdfunding opportunities range from the Student Veterans Association, McCall Outdoor Science School and Soil Stewards Student Farm to a U of I Solar Initiative and the Vandal Food Pantry. Learn about the projects being funded >
Snapshots

Idaho Highlights

Joshua Redman, Vertical Voices Headline 2020 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival: The Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival – Feb. 28-29, 2020 – will honor traditional jazz while highlighting today's top musicians. Evening concerts will feature jazz icons Joshua Redman and Vertical Voices, as well as all 16 members of the Lionel Hampton Big Band.

Study Finds Experimental Fences Deter Elephant Crop Raiding, Provide Income: A U of I-led team of researchers found experimental fences reduced the number of times elephants left Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park to raid nearby crops by 80-95%. Beehive fences, which also produce honey, appeared to be the most effective.

U of I Academy of Engineers Welcomes 2019 Inductees: The College of Engineering will induct five U of I alumni and others into its Academy of Engineers today. The inductees are recognized for their personal contributions to engineering achievement, leadership, education, service to the profession and advancement of society.

Emeritus Associate Professor Given National Award for Work with Budding Journalists: Capping a journalism career that began in junior high school, retired University of Idaho associate professor Becky Tallent was recently awarded the Wells Memorial Key, the Society of Professional Journalists’ highest honor.


Letter from the President
Office of the President | president@uidaho.edu
Oct. 18, 2019
Dear Vandals,
Few sounds are more impressive than the University of Idaho fight song as performed by the Vandal Marching Band.

“Go Vandals, Go” is the only fight song we know. Our Vandal Marching Band, the Sound of Idaho, has led us through that fight song on campus for decades. This Saturday, five current and former marching band directors will lead our Homecoming Parade as grand marshals to celebrate the band's 100th anniversary. Former band directors Robert Spevacek, Dan Bukvich, Al Gemberling and Torrey Lawrence are being celebrated alongside Athletic Bands Director Spencer Martin to mark a century of the band’s signature sound.

This milestone is significant. It’s also worthy of its own Brave and Bold moment.

The band, with help from partners across campus, has a special show planned for us during halftime of tomorrow’s football game against Idaho State. The performance includes 150 new percussion triangles. These are not your ordinary triangles. Working with colleagues in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences and the College of Engineering, they've created triangles that light up when played.

Mechanical engineering and computer science students in the College of Engineering designed the rebar triangles. Students in the Apparel, Textiles and Design program in our College of Agricultural and Life Sciences created hip belts with holsters to hold them. Band members, many enrolled in the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences, volunteered weekends to assemble the triangles that have circuit boards custom-designed by our U of I team in Coeur d’Alene. Watch a video of the triangles being made.

I’m looking forward to the show. Our marching band makes Homecoming a special time. The Vandal Family supports each other and I am proud to support the best marching band in the country.

Homecoming Week is a time of celebration and revelry. As we reflect on what it means to be a Vandal this week, let’s ensure we’re paying tribute to the band and its members for providing the soundtrack to that experience.

Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
President
Latest News

from U of I

Donate Canned Food, Show Vandal Pride

U of I has challenged Idaho State University to a Food Fight for Homecoming. The team with the most pounds of canned food collected by kickoff Saturday wins. Food can be donated at Idaho Foodbank locations statewide. The losing team’s alumni director must post a congratulatory video wearing the other team's colors. Find a statewide drop-off location >
Did you know?
Our public archaeology dig at Moscow High School, led by Katrina Eichner and Mark Warner, was featured recently in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Learn more >
Snapshots

Vandals in the Spotlight

Congratulations to Our Summer 2019 Graduates: U of I awarded 276 degrees, including bachelor's, master's, doctorate, law and specialist degrees, following the summer session. That's in addition to 1,527 degrees awarded to students following the 2019 spring semester.

INL Cuts Ribbon on Two New Buildings: From the Idaho Falls Post Register: Idaho National Laboratory cut the ribbon on two new buildings Monday that will boost the lab’s cybersecurity work and its research collaboration with the state’s colleges and universities.

Post-Haste Reed Duo Album Featured in Fanfare Magazine: The Post-Haste Reed Duo, co-founded by Assistant Professor of Bassoon Javier Rodriguez, will be featured in the November/December issue of Fanfare Magazine for the release of the group's latest album, “Donut Robot!” 


Letter from the President
Office of the President | president@uidaho.edu
Oct. 11, 2019
Dear Vandals,
The Vandal Story is getting out across the Inland Northwest.

I’ve witnessed it touring University of Idaho facilities north and south, east and west. I hear it from our alumni as they share their memories and spread the word across Vandal Country. Now, we’re taking it into communities across the state.

You’ve likely seen one of our 31 billboards across Idaho and eastern Washington touting some of what makes U of I so special. Whether it’s our status as one of America’s best value colleges or our impact around the globe, these messages proudly display our impact as Idaho’s land-grant institution.

If you live in the Treasure Valley, keep an eye out for our “Breakthrough”  buses or the updated window graphics at our Boise locations. Vandals will not be denied. We’re not content to simply study history, we’re making it.

And this is just the beginning. I’m excited to share our new U of I television commercial – which begins airing in select markets and online this weekend. For a sneak peek, click the image below.

We are grateful to the generous donors who helped bring this campaign to life: Lou and Susan Aldecoa, Brad and Annette Elg, Frances and Roy Ellsworth, Mike and Patty Fery, Jack and Julie Hawkins, Jack and Lisa Heath, Bill and Ali Kearns, Clint and Kim Marshall, Gary Michael, Claude Sappington, Intermountain Gas Company and Washington Trust Bank. Thanks for being first in line to help with this effort. Your gift will help us inspire others to reach their potential.

We tell our Vandal stories bravely and boldly to anyone who will listen. We reach thousands of high school and prospective students each year through our marketing and recruitment efforts. As a result, our on-campus events for prospective students are growing.  

I had the privilege of welcoming more than 190 high school students to our Moscow campus last week for the first Envision event of the season. Envision is a daylong program specifically designed for high school seniors considering their college options. Attendance at this fun event was up by 117 students and 153% over last year. Early registration for our November Envision event also looks to be above last year. We are thrilled with this momentum and will continue to enthusiastically connect with the next generation of Vandals.

Join me in spreading Vandal Pride as far as it can go. Share our videos with family and friends. Talk about your Vandal experience with potential college students or your local community organization. Snap a picture of your favorite message and share it on your social media.

It’s never been a more exciting time to be a Vandal. We are grateful for your ongoing support.  

Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
President
Latest News

from U of I

Wear Your Gold During Homecoming

We’re looking forward to seeing you at activities including the serpentine, parade and games. Share your experience using #vandalhomecoming. Watch the video >   See the schedule >
Snapshots

U of I Student a Finalist in U.S. Cyber FastTrack Competition: College of Engineering senior Taegan Williams is a finalist in the U.S. Cyber FastTrack competition, earning $22,000 toward an undergraduate certificate in applied cybersecurity from the SANS Technology Institute, the world's largest information security training and certification company.

From Boise State Public Radio: Soil Collection Begins In Magic Valley At Nation's Largest Research Dairy:  Researchers from the University of Idaho began taking soil samples on the site of the nation's largest research dairy, the $45 million CAFE project.

Alexandra Teague's New Collection Featured in The New York Times: "Or What We'll Call Desire" – the newest published work by Associate Professor of English Alexandra Teague – was featured in last week's "The Shortlist" by The New York Times. 


Letter from the President
Office of the President | president@uidaho.edu
Oct. 4, 2019
Dear Vandals,
You’ve heard me say that the University of Idaho is a special place. We know that in Vandal Country.

So do the outlets that track academics and student life at our country’s institutions of higher learning. U of I consistently ranks among the Gem State’s best on those national lists. We’re a leader among Idaho public universities. As highlighted below, our graduates make more and they experience a high-quality educational environment that is also recognized for being safe and sustainable. 

We are proud of these measures and recognition.

Vandal excellence can be found in this fall’s U.S. News and World Report rankings that place U of I among the nation’s top 100 public colleges and top 200 national universities for factors including academics, student life, safety, employment and salary outcomes.

A similar rating just came out in Washington Monthly that puts us at the top of the state’s national university rankings. U of I is one of The Princeton Review’s “Best 385 Colleges” for 2020 based on factors including affordability, academic quality and career outcomes via a report that notes the university is “incredible” at creating an environment for students and teachers to build great relationships – where faculty members hope to create “well-educated students with the ability to think.”

The stats look even better after graduation. U of I is a leader among Idaho public universities for earnings post-graduation, according to the College Scorecard. Payscale’s 2019-20 report shows Vandal alumni lead the state with median annual mid-career earnings of $97,700.

U of I also earns top marks in its work on safety and sustainability. Safewise ranked us the third-safest city in Idaho earlier this year. And our efforts to implement significant sustainability practices in infrastructure like heating and cooling led to our ranking of sixth nationally when compared to nearly 300 institutions of higher education in 30 countries by the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

A Vandal education provides the tools needed for a successful life and career. We know that. Join me in trumpeting these well-deserved accolades, especially to the people in your life who may be considering life after high school. It’s an important way you can help get them to college.

Vandals are special. Let’s not keep it to ourselves.

Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
President
Latest News

from U of I

Wear Your Gold As You Participate in Homecoming Festivities Oct. 13-19

We’re looking forward to seeing you at activities including the serpentine, parade and games. Share your experience using #vandalhomecoming. Watch the video >   See the schedule >
Pride points
Our campaign to create a dynamic new meat science center advanced another major step thanks to a $1 million gift from the Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation

The Agri Beef Meat Science and Innovation Center Honoring Ron Richard will expand educational opportunities for students and animal processing on the U of I Moscow campus. Learn more >

U of I Study: Limited Angling Overlap with Wild Steelhead on Clearwater River

Anglers on the Clearwater River have minimal overlap with wild steelhead when fishing, according to a study led by University of Idaho researchers. Read more >

Engineering Students Place Top Four in Global Grand Challenges Summit Competition

College of Engineering students traveled to London and earned top placement in the Global Grand Challenges Summit student competition. 
Read more >

Letter from the President
Office of the President | president@uidaho.edu
Sept. 27, 2019
Dear Vandals,
It’s hard to find someone who has done more to help advance college athletics than Terry Gawlik.

Terry brought a track record of leadership and integrity in the field of intercollegiate sports when she came on board as our new athletic director Sept. 1. In 25 years at Wisconsin, Terry oversaw multiple athletic budgets as well as Title IX policy and procedure compliance while leading in the NCAA as chair of many of its standing committees.

In addition to her commitment to success on the field, Terry is just as dedicated to the student-athlete. The coaches and staff members in Vandal Athletics are educators from her vantage point, ensuring the development of young people as they prepare for competition – and for lives beyond the field of play.

Terry brings an optimistic vision to Vandal Athletics that I think is important to share with you all.

Scott Green: You started here at U of I Sept. 1. What are your impressions so far?
Terry Gawlik: The people on this campus, in the city of Moscow, and the athletic department staff, coaches and student-athletes are great, passionate people. That impression has also extended across the state as I have traveled to several cities and areas to meet various Vandal grads and supporters. The pride and traditions are abundantly clear – I am so privileged and excited to be a Vandal.
 
SG: A month into the 2019-20 athletic seasons, what challenges do we face and what are the opportunities on which we can capitalize?
TG: We face many of the same challenges as our peers around the country: time management, budget constraints, student-athlete welfare, compliance monitoring, injuries, I could go on and on. We are fortunate to have dedicated, caring, professional coaches and staff members to tackle these challenges.  Our priorities are to develop student-athletes to be successful in the classroom and on the field, court, pitch, pool and course. We are all educators at this institution and pride ourselves on mentoring and developing young people as they prepare for their lives beyond this campus.
 
SG: You are leading our Sustainable Athletics Model working group, one of several new working groups here at U of I aimed at examining issues and offering recommendations. What is your primary focus with the working group?
TG: My primary focus will be to explore solutions and educate the working group on the athletics model. There is so much we can accomplish on this campus by continuing to improve the working relationship between academics, administration and athletics. I am excited to identify those untapped partnerships that will benefit all parties.
 
SG: We see the success of our student-athletes in competition but it’s important to note they are also studying toward degrees in their respective majors. What should we know about the student side of our student-athletes?
TG: Vandal student-athletes have routinely been among the highest achieving students on our campus, earning a department GPA of 3.0 or better each of the past 11 semesters. Our athletes are philanthropic leaders on our campus as they volunteered over 800 hours of community service the last academic year. Our Men’s Basketball program participated in the “Readers as Leaders” program, inspiring over 2,500 elementary school children. Our student-athletes understand and appreciate the fabulous opportunity they have here to earn a degree, become civic leaders, compete at the Division I level, and make lasting friendships and memories. I intend to help them reach their highest potential by connecting our student-athletes with resources, including our alumni and community.
 
SG: What one thing should Vandal alumni know about our Athletics Program as you start your tenure? How can they support these student-athletes and the overall program?
TG: Be energetic. Keep showing your Vandal spirit and, of course, come out to as many events as you can. I too join your vision of “Every Vandal, Every Year” – the act of encouraging the Vandal Family to provide their time, talents or treasure at least once a year to our institution. Go Vandals!
 
SG: Thank you, Terry. And thank you for joining the Vandal Family. We indeed have a Brave and Bold future ahead.
Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
President
Terry Gawlik
Athletic Director
Latest News

from U of I

Ribbon Cut on Collaborative New DeArmond College and University Center

U of I President Scott Green, North Idaho College President Rick MacLennan, Lewis-Clark State College President Cynthia Pemberton and board trustees cut the ribbon earlier this month on the new DeArmond College and University Center at NIC in Coeur d'Alene. This new building is a place to explore more than 70 degrees - from certificates through doctorates - through a collaboration among U of I, NIC, LCSC, Idaho State University and Boise State University. Read more >

Caisley Plays Produced Internationally This Fall

Two plays written by Robert Caisley, chair of the Department of Theatre Arts, will be produced internationally this fall – "Happy" and "Lucky Me." Read more >

Designs Aim to Reduce Youth Recidivism Rate

Choosin