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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 |
Aug. 27, 2021
Dear Vandals,

Our campus is buzzing. Students are back – walking the same paths many of us walked over the decades. There is nothing quite like the first week of classes – watching Vandals come together inside the classroom, where great ideas begin, to remind us why we are here. The growth of knowledge, expansion of experiences and personal development introduce this new class to what is possible. This, coupled with the friendships built from a shared experience, makes us Vandals of today and tomorrow.

We are, of course, watching the movement of the Delta variant of the coronavirus as it moves swiftly around the world. We remain committed to our community and know Vandals will do what is right for their fellow Vandals. Vaccination is the only way to finally move our university back into a more normal life. I look forward to a day without masks, and I am sure our students and employees do, as well.

But most events and activities on our campus will look more normal this fall. Football kicks off Saturday, Sept. 4 against Simon Fraser. Join us for the return of fall football. Then mark your calendars for Oct. 7-9. You won’t want to miss Vandal Fest – celebrating our students and their paths to success.

A new Community Concert Series sponsored by ICCU brings big names to the stage for students and the community this fall including Kip Moore, AJR and Third Eye Blind. Being able to bring events like this to spur tourism and economic recovery for our local businesses is an important benefit the new ICCU Arena provides our community.

Within our buildings, research continues as students engage with faculty to make the next big discovery. Students are trading stocks, intercepting cyberattacks and learning how to provide healthcare in our rural communities. Vandals make a difference every day.

Times are certainly uncertain, but the possibilities are endless. We know that as Vandals we will succeed – not only at getting past the pandemic, but far beyond. We will do it together – as only the Vandal Family can.

Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
Latest News

from U of I

Creating Community-Focused Medical Professionals

Alumna Delaney Wagers ’20 from Boise knew before coming to University of Idaho that she would become a physician’s assistant or follow a pre-med undergraduate track. Read more.

Living With Fire

In the summer of 2019, a house in the Boise foothills burned down. The fire’s origin was internal, but it destroyed the entire property and threatened neighboring homes. Read more.

Collaboration of the Arts 

Great things happen when Virtual Technology and Design students partner with the Lionel Hampton School of Music. Watch video.

Vandals in the spotlight

Vandals Announce 2021-22 Schedule: Idaho men's basketball has announced its full schedule for the 2021-22 season. The 117th Battle of the Palouse and the SoCal Challenge highlight the early season for the Vandals.

After Two Decades, U of I’s INBRE Program Has Attracted $170M for Student Research: Over the past two decades, more than $170 million has been generated for biomedical research in Idaho’s state and private colleges and universities thanks to a network administered by the University of Idaho called INBRE.

U of I Researcher Leads Effort to Define Sheep Genomes’ Effects on Breeds’ Qualities: A University of Idaho-led project will define how different genomes determine unique qualities of popular domestic sheep breeds and Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep.

New Idaho Landslide Inventory Database to Assist with Hazard Mitigation: The Idaho Geological Survey (IGS) has released a new statewide inventory of landslides that will assist emergency managers and planners with hazard mitigation and identification of problematic hot spots.

U of I launched a new master’s degree in cybersecurity this fall. It complements the bachelor’s program started in 2020.

Letter from the President
Office of the President |
Aug. 6, 2021
Dear Vandals,

Taking a deep breath and enjoying the Idaho summer has more meaning this year. We endured many challenges in the two years I have served as president. We have righted a staggering deficit and shown we can thrive despite a global pandemic, among other things. But we are emerging stronger, braver and bolder – ready to build and grow in the places of greatest impact.

While our books are not yet closed for the past fiscal year, we again have made significant progress righting the university’s finances. We have also made investments of $6 million in student success initiatives, including scholarships and distance learning, and increased research activity. This is possible with the endowment funded with resources generated from leasing our steam plant. This work is paying significant dividends in recruiting students and faculty and hiring our new Vice Provost for Distance Learning Ken Udas. While our research expenditures will be down slightly due to the pandemic, our pipeline of new research grants is bursting at the seams. In plain language, our faculty researchers are killing it. Our students are benefitting as well. Unlike most national universities, nearly two-thirds of our undergraduates participate in cutting-edge research. Even more unusual, our undergraduates publish. Recently, nine undergraduate students from a single lab published two articles in peer-reviewed journals. You can just feel the momentum these investments unleashed.

Our alumni, faculty and friends are believers in our mission and are investing in our future and that of our hard-working students. While we are still finalizing the numbers, we expect to close the fiscal year with record-breaking fundraising significantly exceeding $50 million.

Our statewide footprint separates the University of Idaho from other institutions in our state. We serve every corner, every citizen and every qualified student wanting a Vandal education. We are present in Idaho’s communities, giving back, joining together, and providing value and Vandal Pride to every corner of the state and beyond.

The physical presence of the U of I is important. It is important to our brand, to awareness and to impact. That is why I am excited about three recent investments that expand our presence, improve our outreach and build community.

Idaho is not easy to traverse. Air travel within the state has been challenging, at best. That is why collaboration with Alaska Air and the development of a direct flight between Moscow and Boise is so exciting. The flight, offered five days a week, improves access for our Vandals and their families. It also makes it easier to engage with government and industry. The three-year guarantee the U of I put forth ensures Alaska Air will make a profit as they build these flights – but we have little doubt our Vandal Family will use the flight to come home for events such as the fall’s VandalFest, when we celebrate Homecoming and the opening of the uniquely beautiful ICCU Arena.

We are expanding beyond our campus in Moscow and supporting the artistic endeavors of our students, faculty and community through the intended purchase of the Moscow Police Station. The city is building a new station and the current station is perfectly situated on Highway 95, in downtown Moscow, to allow the U of I to connect with those passing through and those enjoying all that downtown has to offer. The investment in owned-space allows us to redefine the Prichard Art Gallery, focusing more closely on our students and local artists. We will also be opening a VandalStore in the building, facing the highway. We are working through the purchasing process and final plans to refurbish the space.

In Boise, we had the opportunity to invest in our law students and better meet the growing demand for legal education in the state. Through the generous partnership of Vandal alumnus Jeff Stoddard, we will lease the property at 501 Front Street and transition our Boise-based law program from the former Ada County Courthouse to the new property – which was designed and built as an educational facility. This, coupled with remodeling efforts at the Menard Law Building in Moscow, shows our commitment to this fundamental part of the educational offerings at the University of Idaho.

We have much to celebrate this summer as we look ahead to the future of our University of Idaho. We have accomplished much and have been recognized as the best value of any public university in the West, evidence that we are indeed a university on the rise.

Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
Latest News

from U of I

Broadening Broadband

When broadband internet recently arrived at the University of Idaho’s Sandpoint Organic Agriculture Center, Kyle Nagy said the technology became an instant “game-changer” on expanding distance education opportunities. Read more.

Vandal Explorers

Matt Franz has learned that walls can talk. They just need someone to translate. The senior who is majoring in forestry and fire ecology is working with Associate Professor Grant Harley. Learn more.

Rock Solid Experience

Slim cylinders of rock 2 feet long and weighing as much as a truck jack lie on tables at the Integrated Research and Innovation Center (IRIC) on the University of Idaho Moscow campus. Read more.
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