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Growth Challenges Facing the University of Idaho
MRIC 2014/15

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Growth Challenges Facing the University of Idaho

Growth Challenges Facing the University of Idaho

Past, Present and Future
With Implications for Local & Regional Economies

Steven Peterson
Clinical Assistant Professor, Economics
College of Business and Economics

Presented with support of the Provost’s Office, Office of Research and Economic Development and University Honors Program


The University of Idaho, Idaho’s oldest university and “Flagship University” is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2014. The UI has nearly 100,000 alumni, contributes nearly $1 billion to Idaho’s economy and attracts approximately $100 million in total research dollars per year. Yet the UI is in a “helicopter growth pattern” from nearly a decade-long period of very slow growth (if not actual decline) in student enrollments, total research dollars, and state funding. The UI faces special challenges because of its rural and isolated location, residential campus environment, land grant status and historic legacy programs. The UI’s growth challenges may affect its long-term mission in Idaho. It also has implications for the economic and population growth for Moscow and the regional economy.


Steven Peterson is a clinical assistant professor of economics at the UI, where he has been employed for 23 years. He has conducted more than 100 economic impact or other related economic studies covering almost every aspect of Idaho’s economy. He has active partnerships across campus, including the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, College of Natural Resources, Office of Community Partnerships, and Agricultural Extension. Peterson has also completed about 20 local (i.e. Palouse region) studies on various aspects of economic growth and business activity. He holds an M.S., Economics, University of Idaho and a B.S., Business Administration, Lewis and Clark State College.

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