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The Friday Letter

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 |
Sept. 18, 2020
Dear Vandals,
We have a great story to tell at the University of Idaho – a story that’s getting noticed on a national stage.  

Already ranked in the top 6% of all public universities, U.S. News and World Report released rankings this week that placed us among the Top 50 “Best Value” schools in the country and as the highest-ranked public institution in the West in that category.

The 2021 U.S. News rankings give the University of Idaho even more of which to be proud. We rose 42 spots to No. 37 in the Best Value rankings compared to a year ago, and are No. 3 among all public universities, behind only the University of North Carolina and University of Virginia.

A high Best Value ranking doesn’t mean we’re cheap. The top two schools on the list are Harvard and Princeton. The ranking looks at our academic quality related to our price and financial aid picture. It helps that we are able to offer $30 million in scholarships and waivers each year, including to the more than 50 Vandal Promise scholars who are getting up to $5,000 each in need-based aid thanks to generous donor support.

The University of Idaho also improved its ranking as a top 100 public university in the U.S. News Best Colleges category – moving up six slots to No. 83 for 2021. We’re a top National University and appear on several of the magazine’s specialty lists, including “Best Colleges for Veterans” and as a top performer for social mobility. The magazine singled out our undergraduate business, engineering and computer science programs for accolades.

This week’s U.S. News rankings affirm what we already know: Vandals receive a transformational experience at a reasonable price and can look forward to a career at the end of their studies. They recognize that not only are we delivering on our statewide mission, we’re elevating the lives of Vandals who graduate from the University of Idaho prepared for careers and life beyond the classroom.

Even amid uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, a Vandal degree holds a lot of promise in the eyes of employers – and employees. Payscale reports that University of Idaho graduates earn the highest starting salary of any public university in the state, and a recent university survey found the vast majority of 2018 and 2019 graduates have either secured a job or are furthering their education.

I especially want to thank U of I faculty and staff throughout the state for helping move the needle on these rankings over the past year. We are now recognized as the No. 1 Best Value Public University in the West, and we are planning a marketing campaign to make sure everyone knows it. Improvements like these provide yet another point of proof that Vandals are stepping up and excelling regardless of the obstacles. It’s the Vandal Way.

Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
Latest News

from U of I

National Project Tackles Potato Virus Threats

Researcher and potato virus expert Alex Karasev will lead a $5.8 million USDA project that will tackle a pair of viruses causing major losses to the potato industry. Read more >

Borah Symposium Returns Sept. 28-29

Lectures at the 2020 Borah Symposium — featuring a former Canadian prime minister and the leader of a Nobel Peace Prize laureate — will be offered online. See the schedule >

Auditorium Chamber Music Series Returns for 34th Season: The 2020-21 season of the Auditorium Chamber Music Series will continue the tradition of educational performances by some of the world’s finest performers beginning Nov. 10.

Senior Named Structural Materials Scholar for Second Year: College of Engineering senior Jadzia Graves has been named The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society Structural Materials Division Scholar for 2021, the second year in a row.

Prichard Art Gallery to Display Student Art: The Prichard Art Gallery will feature work from University of Idaho Master of Fine Arts recipients in the exhibit “In-Between Places,” through Oct. 11.

Funding Assists ‘New Beginnings for Tribal Students’ Project: Degree attainment for tribal students at the University of Idaho received a boost thanks to $289,000 in funding from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

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Administration Building
Room 105
Moscow, ID


Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive
MS 3151
Moscow, ID