The Friday Letter Archive

A collection of the president's weekly messages to the Vandal family

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Friday Letter 2015-04-03

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Dear Friends,
 
Our university is a leader in many areas: teaching and learning, research, and community outreach. In addition, we play another important role, as a facilitator for dialogue about important issues facing our world. Several upcoming forums serve as great examples of our commitment to serving and strengthening the public discourse.
 
I’d like to invite you to join the conversation at the upcoming Borah Symposium, held in Moscow April 6-8. The Borah Foundation, supported by the Martin Institute, has put together a stimulating program on “Troubled Borders: Sovereignty, War, Disease and Refugees.” Many highly regarded experts on public policy in these areas will present a range of ideas over the three days.
 
I’m looking forward to engaging presentations on healthcare and refugees in Idaho, climate change issues, global medical emergencies, and more. And I’m happy to welcome to campus the many participants from far and wide, including James Hill, the consul general of Canada in Seattle, and Guillermo Ordorica, the consul of Mexico in Boise, who will serve as panelists. The Borah Symposium concludes with a keynote address by scholar and author Dr. Thomas Barnett. I suspect that Senator William Borah, the “Lion of Idaho,” would be impressed with the breadth and depth of this year’s symposium.
 
We had also been anticipating the annual Sherman J. Bellwood Lecture, a signature event in the College of Law that provides opportunities for students and the community to engage with leading minds in the justice system. Originally slated for next week, we unfortunately have had to postpone the event until a later date due to a health-related conflict. I wish Juan Guzmán — the much-admired, Chilean former justice who had planned to present at the lecture — all the best for a speedy recovery.
 
A wide array of other public events take place throughout the year at UI, including the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, the annual Hemingway Festival, the McClure Center lectures and many more. And just as you don’t need to be a jazz musician to appreciate the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, you don’t need to be a lawyer to enjoy the Bellwood lectures, or be an international relations expert to gain insight and perspective from the Borah Symposium. These events are about people coming together, bringing their own interests and experiences, to learn about topics that affect us all. They are about an engaged and informed citizenry exercising fundamental virtues — learning, discussing and applying new ideas and information.
 
We are Idaho’s leading national research university, and the hard work of many faculty, staff, students and volunteers means that we are also a leader in shaping the discourse in our state. These are much-needed discussions about our shared history, contemporary concerns and future vision. I hope you’ll join us at these upcoming events, and participate in the conversation that makes us, for all our differences, a more united and a more educated citizenry.


Chuck Staben portrait

Go Vandals!

Chuck Staben
President
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Here's the Latest News from the University of Idaho

Endowment Gift Supports Chemistry & Geology Students
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