New University of Idaho President Chuck Staben may be the head honcho at the state's first land grant university, but he may never escape that perennial student terror, the due date. In his case, that date's Tuesday, July 1, the Moscow-Pullman Daily News reports.
That's when the so-called Guns on Campus law, which was passed by the Idaho Legislature and signed into law by Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter earlier this year, goes into effect. Staben has already convened a working group led by public safety and communications faculty to implement the law. He said he expects to see the group's recommendations in a few weeks.
"We want ... faculty, staff, students, parents and our prospective students to understand what this law means and what it doesn't mean," he said.
But the task ahead for Staben and the UI working group is daunting: The university has facilities in 42 of 44 Idaho counties, as well as prominent campus extensions in Boise, Twin Falls, Coeur d'Alene and Idaho Falls. Add to that Staben's goal of boosting its student population by 50 percent in the next few years, from 10,000 students to 15,000.
The Guns on Campus law became a source of friction between Second Amendment advocates and the legislature on the one hand, and Idaho university students, faculty and staff, on the other. The law allows enhanced concealed carry permit holders and retired law enforcement officials to carry weapons in certain areas of Idaho's public college and university campuses.
The law's advocates said current proscriptions against guns on campuses were a source of discontinuity of Second Amendment rights and would make campuses safer, while the law's detractors said it would decrease campus safety, lead to expensive expansions of campus security measures and contribute to a hostile learning environment.
The University of Idaho's school of journalism has secured accreditation from the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, joining the University of Washington, the University of Oregon, the University of Montana and 112 other nationally accredited programs.
The Associated Press reports that the ACEJMC is the first accreditation of its kind for Idaho.
The AP reports that a team of four educators and media professionals visited the Moscow campus in October 2013 to perform their due diligence, interviewing students and faculty, before voting unanimously to award the accreditation.
The University of Idaho Vandals haven't been to too many postseason bowl games lately, but one thing's for sure: they won't be going next season, either.
The NCAA has slapped the U of I with a number of penalties, including ineligibility for any bowl game appearance during the 2014 season, after failing to meet the governing association's rules on academic standards. According to a statement from the NCAA, the U of I football team came in below the thresholds of the Academic Progress Rate standards for the 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons. In fact, the APR scores showed a steady decline during the four seasons. In response, the university said it had already made modifications to its football program in order to address the APR decline.
“It’s unfortunate that the players who are here now and are working hard, going to class and doing things right, are paying the penalty for the past,” head football coach Paul Petrino told KREM-TV.
APR scores are compiled based on retention of student athletes for each semester, with each student eligible to receive a total of four points. The maximum score that any school can receive is 1,000, but a rating of 930 or less over a four-year period opens the way to penalties.
The University of Idaho's four-year average for 2009-2012 was 903.
The U of I was also told that it will lose four hours of practice per week that must be devoted to studying.
The University of Idaho's game of musical department chairs continues with today's announcement of a new dean for the U of I law school.
In March 2013, when University of Idaho Law School Dean Don Burnett agreed to serve as interim president while the university searched for a new leader, Burnett said he would not return to his position when his tenure as interim president was over.
Since then, Chuck Staben has been named as the U of I's new president, taking the helm of the university this month.
And now this morning's Moscow-Pullman Daily News is reporting that the Mark Adams, vice dean at Valparaiso University Law School, has been chosen to become the University of Idaho's new law school dean. He'll begin work June 22.
The University of Idaho has a $40 million plan to completely renovate its McCall campus.
The McCall Star-News reports that the rebuild and expansion could take 10-15 years, beginning with the tear-down of all but one of the current buildings on the field campus, located next to Ponderosa State Park. Ultimately, nearly two dozen new buildings would be constructed in their place, serving as classrooms and housing for U of I students.
The U of I McCall Field Campus is nearly 75 years old but the university only acquired the 4-acre site in 2012 through a purchase from the Idaho Department of Lands.
Meanwhile, a group of fine-arts proponents want the U of I to consider building a performing arts center as part of the McCall Field Campus expansion. The Star-News reports that the arts groups would like to see the university expand its existing plan for a 225-seat auditorium to include facilities for concerts and plays.
A spokesman for the McCall Music Society told the Star-News that they have already met twice with U of I officials to make their pitch. The music society says it has already pledged the money to draft conceptual plans for review by the university, but the actual expansion cost could run into the millions.
In a blistering editorial in Sunday's edition of the Lewiston Tribune, the University of Idaho is ripped for kicking off its 125th anniversary in Boise instead of its Moscow home.
"UI leaders remain fixated on what Boise State enjoys—and (UI leaders) lack—urban-fed enrollment, access to the state's political and financial power centers and a winning football team," wrote the Tribune's editorial board. "So like a kid with an inferiority complex the UI comes to the capital city pointing out its seniority and taunting its junior rival as if BSU is some kind of comparative truck-driving school."
The Tribune instead suggested the UI officials hold a "low-key" Boise reception this week, but save the big celebration for Moscow.
"Too bad the UI fumbled that opportunity for its 125th year," wrote the paper. "Here's hoping someone in charge learns a thing or two for the 2039 observance."
Nearly 1,000 students at the University of Idaho are getting an early Christmas present Saturday, Dec. 14—even though they paid dearly for it: a college diploma.
The undergrads will walk into the U of I's Kibbie Dome at the noon hour and walk out as grads at the university's annual winter commencement.
College of Education Dean Corinne Mantle-Bromley is set to be the commencement speaker. She has been recognized for her work with the Institute for Educational Inquiry, a nonprofit that works to advance education on all levels.
Also being honored at the ceremony is 1971 U of I alumnus Michael Kirk, who went to help create the PBS documentary series Frontline.
When the U of I holds its spring commencement in 2014, it will have a new president at the helm. The Idaho State Board of Education announced in November that it had chosen Chuck Staben to become the university's next president, effective March 2014.
Staben will relieve Don Burnett, who has been acting as interim president sine former president Duane Nellis left to take the top job at Texas Tech University.
The board’s 16-member search committee received 70 applicants for the position and in September Staben was named one of five finalists. He visited UI campus locations and met with stakeholders around the state in October.