The past two years have brought the two largest freshman classes in the University of Idaho's history, President Duane Nellis told JFAC this morning as he presents his budget request. Research, too, is continuing to grow, he said. “Last year alone our faculty submitted more than 1,000 research proposals for funding with a total value of nearly $300 million.” He said, “Our research and scholarly and creative activities are broad and vital.” A couple of examples: An assistant professor of forest ecology, Philip Higuera, is part of a multi-disciplinary and multi-university research team that secured a nearly $4 million grant from the U.S. Forest Service to study fire in sensitive forests worldwide. Earlier this month, UI microbiologist Carolyn Bohach was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for her work with E. coli bacteria.
Nellis also highlighted STEM, or science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, which he said is “essential for gaining profitable new industries and jobs in Idaho.” He said, “Roughly 33 percent of all the degrees we award are in STEM areas. By comparison, other Idaho institutions average 12 percent, and our western peers average 25 percent.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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