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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
March 27, 2020
Dear Vandals,
You never really know how strong a family is until it’s tested. I can tell you after this week, the Vandal Family is strong, and I have never been more proud to be a Vandal.

On Wednesday, our governor ordered all non-essential personnel to stay at home for the next 21 days. The order caps a tumultuous three weeks where our university community prepared to deliver distance learning, prepared the campus for the eventual arrival of the COVID-19 virus and prepared ourselves and our families for the fight. Our faculty, staff, students and alumni responded and delivered.

Our faculty members are delivering every course online. Our essential staff members are providing food and shelter and otherwise taking care of those students who had nowhere else to go. Other staff have been preparing to deliver their services to our community from home. Our students have worked through the changes and adjusted to the new normal, and our alumni have been incredibly supportive of university decisions and are helping our students during this uncertain period. It is a testimony to our commitment to each other and to the institution.

Despite all of the upheaval, the Moscow campus is quiet – we experienced a 63% drop in campus-based Wi-Fi usage compared to a normal week. Our virtual space, however, is bustling. More than 170 classes and meetings were taking place at any given time using the university’s videoconferencing software – six times our average. Some of those are one-on-one discussions, and others are 100-level lecture hall classes that allow 100 or more participants to engage.

Classes are being taught on schedule, just in a new way. Meetings are taking place. Video conferencing, video lectures, conference calls, even email and snail mail, are all tools we are using to deliver on our mission.

I am also proud that Vandals are at the forefront of helping the state of Idaho battle COVID-19. Project ECHO, our telehealth education program, hosted a successful virtual session this week for over 700 medical professionals throughout the state. Participants learned details about the virus, its transmission and how to respond to an outbreak in their community. University Distinguished Professor Holly Wichman, director of our Institute for Modeling Collaboration and Innovation, is coordinating a team of modelers from across Idaho to help the state predict the spread of the virus so resources can be deployed proactively and strategically.

Our staff also brought a decommissioned, stand-alone dorm on the edge of campus – the old Targhee Hall – back to life, providing 32 beds for use by our local hospital should they need it.

For those looking for a way to help our fellow Vandals who may be suffering from this emergency, we’ve launched a fundraising drive to support our Vandal Food Pantry, Project ECHO and the Bruce and Kathy Pitman Fund for Student Emergencies. We have a long history of Vandals helping Vandals in times of need.

These next few weeks will be among the most difficult we have faced, but I am confident we are up to the challenge. If you are worried about someone, please file a VandalCARE report so they can get the help they need. Let’s continue to be kind and supportive, and work together. In the interim,

Keep Calm and Vandal On.

C. Scott Green
President
Latest News

from U of I

Deans Announced for College of Natural Resources, College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences: Dennis Becker has been named dean of the University of Idaho’s College of Natural Resources, while Sean Quinlan has been named dean of the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences.

Endowed Professorship in Potato Research Created at U of I: Efforts to improve potato storage technology will benefit from a $1 million investment to create an endowed research professorship made possible by alumni Wayne and Peggy Thiessen and the Idaho Potato Commission.

Idaho Clean Snowmobile Team Placed Fourth in National Challenge: The College of Engineering's Idaho Clean Snowmobile Team earned fourth place overall in the gasoline spark-ignited class at the 2020 Society of Automotive Engineers Clean Snowmobile Challenge, March 9-14. 

Students Visualizing an Ancient Giant

Virtual technology and design students are bringing a set of mammoth bones to life through art. Discovered in 1966, the approximately 11,700-year-old skeleton was found in Soda Springs and brought to U of I last year. The Visual Mammoth class is creating study tools for a geology course and providing students a glimpse into what the professional workplace is like. Read more from Vandals in Focus >
Did you know?
U of I Study: Improve Balance by Lightening Up about Posture 

Researchers in the Mind and Movement Lab in the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences found when older adults thought about posture as effortful, they had worse balance than when they stood in a relaxed way. Learn more >

Letter from the President
Office of the President | president@uidaho.edu
March 20, 2020
Dear Vandals,
Earlier this week, I walked across our beautiful campus. The sun was out, and signs of spring were present. Green shoots are jutting out of flower beds, trees are forming their buds, and even insects are stirring and flying about. Yet, as we all know, spring on our campus is going to be very different than those of the past.

This is an unprecedented time across the world as we prepare for the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, we have moved all of our classes to remote delivery methods, canceled our Commencement ceremonies and are practicing social distancing throughout the campus.

To say I am deeply saddened and already missing our students and the bustling activity that accompanies their presence would be an understatement. Our unique residential learning environment is certainly one of the differentiators that makes our university special.

We know this is a huge disruption to our community and a disappointment that we can’t celebrate our many successes together this spring. Slowing the spread of this virus is vitally important. The health and safety of our Vandal Family is our top priority.

That’s why, in this fast-changing situation, we have moved to deliver all classes online and through other distance formats next week (following Spring Break) for the remainder of the semester. We initially opted for a two-day test, but as the challenge and guidance from public health officials came into sharper focus, we had no choice but to make the shift to online/remote learning for the remainder of the semester to protect the health of our community.

We’ve also canceled all events with more than 10 people until we are confident they can be held safely. University staff and faculty meetings are being held by teleconference whenever possible.

An update on our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unfortunately, these cancellations include Parent and Family Weekend in Moscow as well as the Spring 2020 Commencement ceremonies statewide. By making this determination now, we hope everyone is able to cancel any reservations and travel plans.

These decisions are difficult and are being re-evaluated daily as we consider how best to keep services in Moscow and around the state open and accessible. Updates on the university response to COVID-19 are being posted regularly on the U of I website.

While all classes will be delivered online, services at our Moscow campus and statewide locations will remain physically open to our students. Every opportunity for student-employees to continue work study and other options will be provided. Those who choose to stay home will still get the education, counseling, advising and mentoring services they need, just in a different format. For students who have nowhere else to go, and for those whose hometowns may not have broadband access, university residence halls are open and Vandals Dining is offering safe meal options. Greek students are working with their leaders regarding personal distance practices and delivery of services.

Vandals who are scheduled to graduate in May will still receive their diplomas in a timely manner. We will do our best to find a way to recognize the accomplishments of our graduating seniors. At a minimum, they will be invited to join us for our in-person ceremonies in December 2020 or May 2021. Celebrating the success of all our graduates is one of our most important traditions and celebrations. We promise to make it special.

The coronavirus has challenged all of us. It will continue to test us as we make this move to online and distance formats. We’re asking everyone to be patient, flexible and resilient while we navigate these changes.

We have made it through many significant crises in our 130-year history. We will make it through this one as well.

I am deeply grateful to our faculty and staff who are working long hours to adjust course delivery and doing everything possible to accommodate our students while keeping U of I safe and healthy. It is that dedication to our students that differentiates us – it is the Vandal way.

I ask that during this time we all take care of each other by doing what we can to limit the spread of this threat to our greater community. My thoughts are with our extended Vandal Family that we and our families remain safe. I look forward to seeing our entire Vandal Family together again soon.

Keep Calm and Vandal On.

Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
President

Letter from the President
Office of the President | president@uidaho.edu
March 13, 2020
Dear Vandals,
The safety of the University of Idaho community is top of mind as we weigh the impacts of the worldwide coronavirus outbreak.

No current Vandal has been diagnosed with the respiratory disease, formally known as COVID-19, but it’s important we remain vigilant should the virus be detected at U of I, on the Palouse or anywhere in the state of Idaho.

U of I’s Infectious Disease Response Team has been meeting regularly since late January to monitor and plan. The team, made up of six subcommittees and a core group of campus leaders, also includes Moscow and Latah County representatives. It is monitoring the entire state for impacts to any of our many locations, and coordinating with Gritman Medical Center and Public Health – Idaho North Central District.

We care about the health and safety of everyone in our community and are working hard on plans to mitigate and limit any potential outbreak. We’ve created a website with U of I-specific resources and answers to frequently asked questions about the coronavirus.

Our custodial staff, with extra help from Environmental Health and Safety, has taken special care to increase disinfection efforts in high-traffic areas in response to the potential for an outbreak.

While the coronavirus is not directly impacting any of our statewide locations, campus leaders are encouraging anyone who may feel sick to self-isolate and call their doctor’s office if symptoms warrant.

Faculty members have been encouraged to be creative and flexible as we work through our options for course delivery.

To that end, the university has decided to test putting all classes online the Monday and Tuesday following Spring Break, March 23-24. It is possible that classes could remain online after March 24 and we have asked our faculty and students to be prepared should that occur. A trial run will better prepare us should altering university operations be necessary. Campus will remain open and all offices, labs and classrooms will be accessible.

We will continue to monitor and prepare to implement procedures to protect our students, staff and faculty as the situation on campus and at our centers across the state evolves.

The impact this virus could have on our community is changing rapidly, so it’s important we are both prepared and vigilant for every possible scenario.

Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
President
Latest News

from U of I

Moscow Is an Idaho College Town with a Soul That Shines Through Year-Round

Moscow has a vibe that courses through the streets like cultural lifeblood – delivering dining, art, outdoor amenities and community spirit that is truly unique. Read more from the article in Seattle Magazine >

Engineering, Business Students Win $10,000 at Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge

Student entrepreneurs won second place and $10,000 after pitching CatheterX, a multi-channeled, spiral-designed urinary catheter, at the Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge in Seattle. Learn more >
Pride points
Dairyman to Manage Idaho CAFE: John W. Wright will serve as U of I's project manager for the new $25 million research dairy near Rupert. The dairy will serve as the core of the Idaho Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment. Read the announcement >

Letter from the President
Office of the President | president@uidaho.edu
March 6, 2020
Dear Vandals,
We know about the achievements of our Vandal student-athletes on the field of play.

They put in hard work practicing every day to compete and be the very best versions of themselves.

That dedication was on display last weekend when our Vandal Men’s Track and Field Team finished fourth and Vandal Women’s Track and Field Team fifth during the 2020 Big Sky Indoor Championship. Swimmer Katie Hale also represented her team well during the recent WAC Championships, taking first place in the 100-yard backstroke.

Vandal fans, including myself, will fill the stands in Boise starting Tuesday to cheer on our student-athletes at the 2020 Men’s and Women’s Big Sky Basketball Championships.

It’s been a milestone season for our basketball teams. Men’s senior guard Trevon Allen recently passed 1,000 points and is moving up the top 10 all-time scoring list. Women’s Basketball Coach Jon Newlee notched his 300th career Division I win this season, including over 200 as a Vandal. I can’t wait to see impressive performances by student-athletes and Vandal coaches from both rosters.

Our staff is also gearing up to host NCAA March Madness First- and Second-Round games later this month in Spokane. This massive undertaking puts Vandal Athletics in the national spotlight.

Thank you to all the amazing Vandal Scholarship Fund chapters, volunteers and donors across the state who support our student-athletes.

We all want an athletic program we can be proud of. Excelling in coursework and as citizens of the community are just as important to that equation as performing well during a game. While our student-athletes show up every day on the field of play, they also set the bar high in the classroom.

Our Vandals have been posting a departmental GPA above 3.0 for each of the past 12 semesters, including tying an all-time high last fall.
More than 200 of our 325 student-athletes earned GPAs over 3.0, including 68 who had perfect 4.0s. Over 60 of our student-athletes were named to the Fall Big Sky All-Academic Team.

Among those rankings, our Women’s Cross-Country team posted a 3.86 GPA in the fall, the fourth highest for a squad in the country. In January, the entire Vandal Swim and Dive roster was named to the Scholar All-American Team by the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America for excellence in the classroom.

That hard work takes support, something we strive to give all our students at the University of Idaho. For our student-athletes, that includes nutrition. 

We opened the Athletics Fueling Center in September to support the nutritional needs of our student-athletes, providing healthy snacks and beverages to all of Vandal Athletics. Operated by U of I students and staff, the 576-square-foot space is in the north hallway of the ASUI-Kibbie Activity Center between the athletic training room and our strength and conditioning facility. This location is intentional, and will enhance our student-athletes’ performance and recovery.

We have amazing students at U of I, and our student-athletes are no exception. It’s important we support them and offer them the necessary resources to manage their overall health.

That’s what it means to be a part of the Vandal Family.

Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
President
Latest News

from U of I

Assistant Professor Earns NSF CAREER Award: College of Engineering Assistant Professor Zouheir Rezki's grant from the National Science Foundation will go toward better communication between Earth and space.

Med Students Practice in the Wilderness: From the Idaho County Free Press: First- and second-year students from the Idaho WWAMI Medical Education Program learned the value of patient treatment in rural settings, including from a mass-casualty scenario, during a wilderness medicine training in Cottonwood.

Alumna-Led Nonprofit, U of I Student Benefit from Internship Experience: Palouse Land Trust Executive Director Lovina Englund ’05, M.S. ’07, was happy to find a good intern candidate in Sierra Hamilton, a senior in U of I's College of Natural Resources.

Did you know?
Idaho grows 322,000 acres of potatoes, and many of those spuds can track their linage to U of I. Jenny Durrin talks about U of I's potato nursery on "The Vandal Theory." Listen to the podcast >

Letter from the President
Office of the President | president@uidaho.edu
Feb. 28, 2020
Dear Vandals,
Music education is a vital component of this weekend’s Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival.

More than 3,600 students from hundreds of high schools across the Northwest and Canada are learning the latest in their craft from the jazz greats of our time. They’re also studying math, career planning, entrepreneurship and international relations.

Our signature University of Idaho jazz festival, now in its 53rd year, includes 400 student performances and over 60 workshops and clinics that develop the talent of young artists.

Supporting that talent is important. It’s exciting to see this learning opportunity present itself when a member of the Lionel Hampton Big Band takes the time to tutor a student one-on-one. These artists spend the day mentoring countless musicians, then take the stage for crowds at the ASUI-Kibbie Activity Center.

I’m looking forward to attending the festival's evening concerts, which will feature top student soloists competing for a University of Idaho scholarship from Avista, as well as performances by jazz greats Joshua Redman, Vertical Voices and all 16 members of the Lionel Hampton Big Band.

It will be just as inspiring to see these same artists work with high school students and our faculty on their music.

These students won’t all become professional musicians. Some will go into engineering or law, science or art. Our faculty from disciplines across the university are finding ways to integrate the art of jazz into festival lesson plans focusing on their own fields of study. Workshops that bridge science and art or teach the business of music create new avenues for these students to grow and elevate their craft.

That’s what’s so special about Lionel Hampton’s vision for music education. We’re teaching music, but we’re also opening these kids up to all of the possibilities available to them associated with a college education.

This weekend is the first time many of our future students get the chance to visit the University of Idaho campus. We want them to feel welcome and supported, because they could one day be the newest members of our Vandal Family.

Think of it as another way we can tell our story and support these students as they thrive on their chosen path. It is what the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival is all about.

Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
President
Latest News

from U of I

Zac Claus Hired as Head Men's Basketball Coach for the Vandals

Claus, the interim head coach, was hired for the permanent job. His mentorship will continue to elevate our student-athletes as he builds a quality program that excels in the classroom and on the court. Read more >

Vandal Swim and Dive Named to Scholar All-American Team

Congratulations to our entire Idaho Vandals Swimming and Diving roster for being named to the Scholar All-American Team by the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America. Read more >
Fellowship Allows Student to Make Historic Jazz Blindfold Tests More Accessible: Mitch Gibbs, a senior from Snohomish, Washington, helped make the International Jazz Collection and Jazz writer Leonard Feather's findings available to the public.

Grandiose Plans Offered for Future of Lewiston’s Bollinger Center: From the Lewiston Tribune: University of Idaho architecture students have offered their versions of a bright future for the condemned former church and theater.

Prichard Art Gallery Exhibit Features Local Artists: The exhibit, “Four Old Guys Walk Into a Gallery,” includes display work in painting, photography, sculpture and visual text and runs through Saturday, April 11, in Moscow.

Letter from the President
Office of the President | president@uidaho.edu
Feb. 21, 2020
Dear Vandals,
4-H is the earliest opportunity for students to take a class from the University of Idaho.

As young as age 5, the community-based youth development program — delivered through U of I Extension — is inspiring youth in every county of the state to become responsible, productive citizens so they can meet the changing needs of society.

I spent three days meeting with Idaho’s agricultural leaders in Boise this week, including a breakfast organized by 4-H members as part of the group’s annual Know Your Government Conference. The eighth- and ninth-grade program is run by the students, who partner with Idaho lawmakers and the courts to simulate a legislative and judicial system.

Our delivery of 4-H youth development programs benefits everyone in Idaho and provides preparation for a college education. Statistics show 4-H participants are more likely to go to college and give back to the community. It may be the most impactful program to strengthen the connection of our youth to communities across the state.

These students are our future scientists, our future farmers, our future commodities brokers and our future leaders. Cultivating that future starts with inspiring and creating a thirst for knowledge among the 15,000-plus members of our 4-H programs.

That early support is important to our students once they enroll at the University of Idaho.

In addition to being ranked in the top 6% of public universities and colleges nationally, U.S. News and World Report also ranks the University of Idaho a Top 100 Best Value. A recent poll by the company Niche ranks our agricultural sciences program first in the Pacific Northwest — and higher than programs in every state that borders Idaho. At U of I, Idaho’s youth can learn from nationally recognized faculty, participate in cutting-edge research and elevate themselves in ways that enable them to accomplish their dreams.

We want to help agriculture prosper and support other key areas of Idaho’s economy by both educating the state’s students and through our research enterprise. Much of the more than $115 million in research U of I conducted last year focused on the agricultural commodities first planted at the 24,000 Idaho farms and ranches that contribute nearly one-fifth of the state’s economic output.

Idaho agriculture is a $16 billion industry that feeds this state and the entire world. Not only are we the nation’s top producer of potatoes, but we grow more malt barley than any other state in the country and are the nation’s fourth-largest wheat producing state. Idaho is also the third-largest dairy producer in the country. You’ve heard me talk about the Idaho Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (CAFE), our Magic Valley research dairy where work has already begun. Once fully operational, this research center will provide important, sustainable solutions for our partners in industry.

A 4-H class might be the first course students take from the University of Idaho, but we hope it’s not their last. When these students are ready to go on after high school, U of I will be there to support them any way we can.

Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
President
Latest News

from U of I

Experience a Virtual U of I Campus Tour

Explore campus buildings and landmarks as part of our new and expanding YouVisit virtual tour. Take the tour >

U of I Master's Student Takes First Place in Statewide Three-Minute Thesis Competition 

Congratulations to Maribel Alfaro for winning first place in this week's statewide Three-Minute Thesis Competition. Maribel is a civil and environmental engineering master's student studying how to make biodegradable plastic from farm waste. Learn more >

Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival's 53rd Year Celebrated Next Weekend in Moscow

Thousands of young musicians will visit the U of I campus next weekend as we celebrate music education and welcome jazz icons Joshua Redman and Vertical Voices, as well as all 16 members of the Lionel Hampton Big Band to our annual celebration. Get Your Tickets >
Did you know?
University of Idaho Fish and Wildlife Sciences Department Head Lisette Waits has found a more efficient and cost-effective way to estimate Idaho's wolf populationLearn more from Spokane's KREM-TV >

 

Letter from the President
Office of the President | president@uidaho.edu
Feb. 14, 2020
Dear Vandals,
The ability of Idaho’s healthcare professionals to ask questions of experts around the state is an important asset, especially when resources are limited in rural communities.

Idaho knows Idaho, and no one is better equipped to break down barriers to the latest thinking in specialty medical care than another Gem State practitioner who might be facing a similar issue in another part of the state.

This is especially important when considering a challenge like the opioid epidemic. Bringing these groups together is the role of the University of Idaho’s Project ECHO program, a telehealth education initiative that links community healthcare professionals across the state.

ECHO (Extension for Community Health Outcomes) originated at the University of New Mexico and has since grown to more than 48 states. Idaho’s version is led by our Idaho WWAMI Medical Education Program, which has allowed future doctors to train in Idaho since 1972 through a partnership with the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Project ECHO Supports Idaho's Rural Providers Through Telehealth Education.

ECHO Idaho participants are getting answers from other state physicians, nurse practitioners, counselors and pharmacists on issues like medication monitoring, pain control and breaking down the stigma of mental health.

Each free session lasts one hour and includes a short presentation on a specific clinical topic followed by a patient case study. A social worker in Sandpoint might be working 300 miles away from a physician assistant in Salmon, but they’re dealing with similar issues in how best to treat their patients.

We need all members of the healthcare team pulling together if we want to address Idaho’s critical needs. ECHO Idaho does just that, helping healthcare professionals keep up with the changes in practicing medicine without leaving the clinic.

Our state’s healthcare providers continue to see the benefit. ECHO Idaho has connected more than 580 clinicians from all corners of the state — 76 communities across 37 counties — since the program began in 2018 at U of I Boise. It’s helped medical practitioners from Pocatello to Lewiston, Rexburg to Shoshone, find ways to best resolve their patient problems.

What started as a way to help providers deal with the opioid epidemic has since expanded with a focus on combating behavioral health issues. ECHO Behavioral Health follows the same model, connecting rural providers with specialist teams for real-time collaboration.

Doctors, nurses, social workers, physician assistants and other healthcare professionals have earned more than 2,500 credits of free continuing medical education through the program, a number that continues to rise with each bi-weekly session. Program leaders want to expand to other areas of medicine as well.

This valuable resource has created an Idaho-focused approach to treating some of the state’s difficult challenges. It’s a continued benefit for both our healers and the rural communities of Idaho.

Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
President
Latest News

from U of I

Idaho Teachers Vandalize Classrooms in Silver and Gold

More than 1,500 classrooms across Idaho and the nation are showing their Vandal pride thanks to our Alumni Association's Vandalize the Classroom program. See Vandals Showing Their Pride >

Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health Donates to Students

The $1.5 million donation from the foundation for Idaho’s premier health care insurance provider will support our Vandal Promise Scholarship and Idaho WWAMI Medical Education Program. Learn more >
By the numbers

Student Success
2,617: The number of University of Idaho students who made the Dean's List in Fall 2019. Congratulations! See the list.

Letter from the President
Office of the President | president@uidaho.edu
Feb. 7, 2020
Dear Vandals,
Scholarships are critical to accessibility for Idaho students.

Our job at the University of Idaho is to ensure our students can attend, persist and graduate ready to chart their own path in their chosen career. The University of Idaho and our U of I Foundation offer $30 million in scholarships and waivers each year to help students reach their fullest potential.

Yet, for many students, a $5,000 gap in the cost of attendance between state appropriations, Pell grants and available scholarships keeps them from pursuing higher education and career goals. You’ve heard me talk about our need-based Vandal Promise Scholarship program, our primary fundraising priority, as key to bridging that gap.

The Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health sees that need and wants to help these Idaho students thrive.

I’ll join Blue Cross President and CEO Charlene Maher today in Boise to announce a $1.5 million commitment from the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health. $1 million of this gift will be designated to the Vandal Promise Scholarship fund and $500,000 will go toward scholarships for Idaho WWAMI medical students. The generosity from Blue Cross of Idaho will fund 40 Vandal Promise Scholars over the next decade and 50 students in our Idaho WWAMI Medical Education Program over the next five years.

This generous, Idaho-focused donation is an investment in both Idaho and our shared livelihood.

The two dozen Vandal Promise Scholars who started classes at U of I last fall are determined Idaho students benefitting from this extra help. Quite literally, this kind of scholarship support can transform lives. The Vandal Promise Scholars study together as a group and posted an average GPA of 3.43 last semester. We’ll be able to grow the program to about 50 students next fall as a result of this support from Blue Cross.

Blue Cross also recognizes the need to keep Idaho doctors in the state after they complete their M.D. through the Idaho WWAMI Medical Education Program. That’s why the gift of $500,000 to Idaho WWAMI, a partnership with the University of Washington School of Medicine, will go to 10 students each year who want extra training in rural and underserved areas of the state. These future healers are learning the skills they need that will benefit rural communities and all of Idaho.

Getting Idaho students into our pipeline provides a return on investment for our students and the state. Not only do our graduates command the highest starting salaries, they also command a median mid-career salary of $97,700 after about 10 years in their chosen careers.

We’re proud to support and train these students. And we’re grateful to enter into this collaboration with the foundation for Idaho’s premier health care insurance provider. Thank you for your support that will continue to benefit Idaho and its students for years to come.

Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
President
Latest News

from U of I

U of I Research and Outreach Projects Receive Grants: Five different University of Idaho projects received grants recently from the Idaho Humanities Council.

Tech Savvy Teachers Partnering with Google: Tonia Dousay and Cassidy Hall with the Department of Curriculum and Instruction are partnering with Google as part of a pilot program to produce future Idaho teachers ready to effectively use technology in the classroom.

Benefit Performance Helps Take Theatre Show on the Road: A one-night benefit performance of “This Random World” raised more than $2,000 that will help the Theatre Arts Department take the show to Fort Collins, Colorado, and the regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Feb. 19.

Pride points
The University of Idaho is listed as the No. 29 Best College for Agricultural Sciences in America by Niche, the top ranking for agricultural sciences in the Pacific Northwest. Learn more >

Letter from the President
Office of the President | president@uidaho.edu
Jan. 31, 2020
Dear Vandals,
A college education makes us healthier, wealthier and wiser.

In addition to earning an average of $1.2 million more over a lifetime – a contribution to the tax base and local economy – studies show college graduates lead healthier, longer (nine years longer on average), happier lives and are more likely to engage and be involved in their communities.

Not every high school senior can relate to these statistics, until you put all that money on the table for them to see.

Dean Kahler, our vice provost for Strategic Enrollment Management, is doing just that. Armed with $1 million – or at least what sure looks like it – Dean and a cohort of Vandals are on a tour of Idaho high schools to make the case for higher education. They’re literally dumping $1 million on the table so students can visualize what they are giving up if they do not continue their education.

The tour is called Enroll Idaho, a road trip program that meets high school students in their hometowns to discuss and promote the benefits of a college education. Joe Vandal makes an appearance – and the team is traveling in a black and gold van – but the message itself isn’t specific to the University of Idaho.

We want students to go-on to higher education, any program at any institution. While we would like all high school graduates to become Vandals, getting any graduate to go on to any of our sister institutions is a win for both the student and the state of Idaho.

The message dovetails with the presentation Idaho’s four-year public college and university presidents gave to state lawmakers just last week. Nine of the Idaho Department of Labor’s top 10 “Hot Jobs” call for some sort of education beyond high school. About 80% of jobs created in the past 25 years require some sort of post-secondary training.

Put another way: The cost of not going to college is rising.

The Enroll Idaho tour started earlier this month in the Silver Valley. I was fortunate to tag along this week during assemblies in Troy and Genesee. Our team will hold presentations at locations throughout the state, where we’re pairing assemblies with alumni chapter networking nights when possible.

At each stop, financial aid representatives and admissions counselors are on hand to answer questions, help students find scholarships or grants, and advocate for continued study after a student finishes his or her senior year.

Our role at the University of Idaho is to help students elevate themselves, to help them with access to school and to help them succeed so they have the chance to go on to a fulfilling professional life.

We’re committed to telling the story of higher education in this state. It’s our hope Enroll Idaho will convince more Idaho students to take that next step.

Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
President
P.S.: Help us Grow the Gold. If you know a prospective student we should contact, let us know at uidaho.edu/growthegold.

U of I: Made by Idaho, in Idaho, for Idaho

We were founded to make a difference. From providing a high-quality, accessible education — to leading breakthroughs in clean water, cybersecurity, healthcare, agriculture and fire science — we forge partnerships to improve the lives of Idahoans. Watch the Commercial.
Latest News

from U of I

Michael Haney Named One of Idaho’s Brightest Stars: U of I Idaho Falls Assistant Professor Michael Haney will be recognized during a ceremony Feb. 6 as one of Idaho’s Brightest Stars of 2020 by Serve Idaho.

U of I Recognized for Best Online Social Science Programs: U of I was recognized as one of the Best Online Colleges by Intelligent, which ranked the university as having the Best Social Science Programs among its 60 top picks. U of I ranked No. 20 overall.

Submit to the Vandal Business Directory: Our Office of Alumni Relations is taking submissions for its inaugural Vandal Business Directory for alumni and friends looking to support alumni-owned businesses.

Letter from the President
Office of the President | president@uidaho.edu
Jan. 24, 2020
Dear Vandals,
The presidents of Idaho’s four-year higher education institutions appeared before the Idaho Legislature this week as a united front for two joint presentations.

That’s a big deal, and an early step in a collaboration we hope will benefit all of Idaho.   

My colleague, Idaho State University President Kevin Satterlee, presented Monday on behalf of Boise State University President Marlene Tromp, Lewis-Clark State College President Cynthia Pemberton and me as we answered questions and made our case for Idaho higher education before the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee and the Senate Education Committee. 

We are in the Presidents Leadership Council, which meets monthly to discuss ways we can better serve Idahoans. This group includes presidents of the four-year public institutions, community college presidents, the state’s career and technical education administrator and the State Board of Education executive director.

Results from our discussions can already be seen in a joint philosophy on affordability and accessibility for Idaho students. In December, the four-year presidents committed to freezing in-state, undergraduate tuition for the coming year. Keeping tuition flat ensures more students can attend, persist and graduate from our institutions and be ready for careers. 

Another important collaboration with our public sister institutions is development of a joint cybersecurity educational offering. Gov. Brad Little’s budget recommends $1 million to be shared among the institutions toward this effort. 

Our goal is to make Idaho an authority in cybersecurity education while also meeting our state’s workforce needs. The University of Idaho is a leader in this field as one of the National Security Agency’s first seven National Centers of Academic Excellence in cyber defense education. U of I students continue to excel in national cybersecurity competitions, challenges that test their ability to recognize and defend our country against cyberattacks. Our partners can help as we advance this effort.

It’s important our colleges and universities collectively meet the needs of our students, our communities and our employers. We want to play to our unique strengths while serving the entire state. 

The University of Idaho plays a vital role in our cultural and economic fabric. Combine our $1.1 billion economic impact with that of our sister institutions and the statewide investment in higher education creates a $3.3 billion contribution to Idaho’s economy. 

That’s an investment in our future, and the entire Gem State. 

Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
President

Presidents Appear on 'Education 2020'

Via Idaho Education News: I joined my counterparts from Idaho State University, Boise State University and Lewis-Clark State College as we made the case for higher education in the state during an appearance on Idaho Public Television. Watch the interview >
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Prichard Art Gallery Auction Features 50+ Artists: The Biennial Benefit Auction, which features work from artists that previously appeared at the Prichard, is Saturday, Feb. 8, at the gallery, 414 S. Main St., Moscow.

Rangeland Center Members Contribute to Animal Science: The Translational Animal Science’s December 2019 issue featured University of Idaho faculty and graduate students from the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the College of Natural Resources and U of I Extension.

McClure Center Director Facilitating Salmon Work Group: Via KIVI-TV: Gov. Brad Little created the salmon work group to come up with ideas on how to help Idaho salmon recovery.

Pride points
Two Vandals were recognized at the Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Community Breakfast by the Latah County Human Rights Task Force.

Monze Stark, associate director of multicultural recruitment, was awarded the Rosa Parks Human Rights Outstanding Service Award. Learn more >

Third-year law student Audrey Faunce received the Rosa Parks Human Rights Achievement Student Award. Learn more >

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

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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
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