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Eye On Boise

Tue., Jan. 21, 2014, 7:24 a.m.

U of I stresses collaboration in its budget pitch to lawmakers

Don Burnett, interim president of the University of Idaho, makes his budget pitch to state lawmakers on Tuesday (Betsy Russell)
Don Burnett, interim president of the University of Idaho, makes his budget pitch to state lawmakers on Tuesday (Betsy Russell)

Don Burnett, interim president of the University of Idaho, is making the university’s budget presentation to lawmakers this morning in the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, where he drew on recent years’ flap over the designation of the U of I as the state’s “flagship” university to sound a theme of collaboration. “This year the University of Idaho marks its 125th anniversary of service to Idaho,” he told lawmakers. “When the University of Idaho was established in 1889, Idaho was still a territory.” As a land-grant institution with statewide missions in research, teaching and outreach, he said, the U of I “fulfills the classic definition of a flagship institution.”

As committee members smiled, Burnett said, “The term flagship … is not a badge of superiority. It is an emblem of profound responsibility. After all, no flagship sails … by itself. It sails with a fleet.” He said, “In like manner, the University of Idaho collaborates with its sister institutions in Idaho post-secondary education. … You can be proud of all of these institutions.”

He said, “We respectfully urge the committee, as you go forward with your vital and challenging work, to improve investments in each of Idaho’s post-secondary institutions, including of course, but not limited to, the University of Idaho.”




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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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