From the President
The last seven months have been exciting for me as I embark on my tenure as president of the University of Idaho. I have met many of the diverse and passionate people who are connected to the university, whether as students, faculty, staff, alumni or friends. I have experienced Idaho’s astounding beauty and the pride Idahoans have for their state. And I’ve had the opportunity to witness the University of Idaho’s wide-ranging impacts firsthand.
Earlier this fall, I was privileged to see some of the outstanding work happening in Idaho’s forest products industry. On the “Seedlings to Sawmills” tour with our College of Natural Resources advisory board, I visited a high-tech sawmill in Lewiston, flew over logging operations near Dworshak Reservoir, and learned about the university’s partnership with Potlatch Corporation at the Mica Creek Experimental Watershed. For more than 10 years, our researcher and forest products leaders have been working at the watershed to find new, innovative ways to help this vital industry grow in a way that doesn’t negatively affect the environment.
Seeing our research, our alumni and our supporters in action on this tour drove home a message I’ve often repeated in my first months as president: The University of Idaho has and will continue to make concrete, positive changes in Idaho’s economy, in the lives of its people and in its outlook for the future. We have a 125-year tradition of excellent work, and we’re primed to do even more.
Our business as a university is the generation and dissemination of knowledge. Our researchers and scholars create new knowledge, build on existing knowledge and distribute that knowledge to the people who need it. Our faculty members share their knowledge with our students, who enter the next stage of their lives prepared to make discoveries and impacts of their own. The relationships built here give people new knowledge of themselves, their communities and their world.
In this edition of our university magazine, you’ll meet some of the people leading the way in these missions. You’ll also learn about some of the corporate and foundation partnerships that have contributed to our successful $225 million capital campaign, Inspiring Futures: Invest in the University of Idaho. These partnerships have helped the university create new resources that allow students to explore technologies, conduct cutting-edge research and learn while making real-world choices.
This issue also features a story that highlights some of my own goals for the university, chief among them increasing enrollment by making the university more attractive and accessible to students in Idaho, the Northwest and the nation.
The measure of a leader is the ability to have impact. I’ve stated my intent to serve as UI’s president for 10 years, and I look forward to a decade of making an impact at the University of Idaho. As I learn more about the university’s history, I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished, but I also see many opportunities to do even more.
When my time here is done, I want the University of Idaho to serve more top-quality students than ever before, our graduate programs to attract students from around the world, our research enterprise to expand in size and reach, and our people to have the resources they need to excel.
These are not, however, goals I can achieve alone. The University of Idaho comprises many people—thousands of staff, faculty and students; 100,000 living alumni; and countless supporters, partners and friends who work together to shape our success.
Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, is among the people who inspire me as president. In a 2013 address, he emphasized the intertwined nature of a university: “People with a shared purpose have the opportunity to create a community that allows all to achieve at a higher level.”
I invite you to join me in leading the University of Idaho as we grow together, move forward together and become better together.