University of Idaho President Duane Nellis opened his talk to the AP legislative preview this morning by congratulating BSU President Bob Kustra, who sat next to him, on BSU’s Fiesta Bowl win. “I think it’s just great for the state of Idaho,” he declared, noting that there aren’t many states that can claim two bowl game wins this year. The UI, of course, won the Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl in dramatic style. “For a state of our size to have two exciting wins, I’m just proud of Boise State and proud of the University of Idaho,” Nellis said.
That was the good news. Then, he started talking budget cuts. “We’ve already cut, just in the last year, about $20 million from our budget,” Nellis said. “Right now in places like China and India, they’re spending billions - billions - on higher education, while we’re disinvesting in higher education.” Kustra, too, spoke forcefully about the effect of cuts, warning that higher ed is becoming not a public good, but a “private good” for those who can afford it, “leaving behind legions of students who can’t.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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