The University of Idaho will welcome UI presidential candidate Donald Birx on Tuesday for a pair of open forums, one at 9 a.m. in the Administration Auditorium, and another at 3:30 p.m. at the 1912 Center.The rest of the candidates will make appearances throughout the month of October.
This is the first opportunity students have to give input in the presidential search, a decision that will affect them for years to come. The president will make major decisions concerning UI budget shortfalls, student scholarships, UI infrastructure and fundraising. In other words, they’ll oversee the overall direction of UI.
Whether a student is a freshman or a senior, this decision will affect their life and their experience at UI. The open forums provide ideal opportunities to learn how candidates will address key UI issues like budget shortfalls, weakening infrastructure and tuition, which has seen a consistent increase year after year. All of these matters apply directly to students.
Students can also question the candidates about their past successes and failures, and their commitment to UI. Considering UI has had five presidents, including interims, in the past 10 years, the question should be asked.
The most recent of those presidents, M. Duane Nellis, stuck around for four years.
If UI gets this right, it should have a president who will retain the position for more than five years, meaning they will make numerous decisions that will change the UI community.
Do not miss the chance to voice your concerns about each candidate and the ideas they propose.
These open forums are an integral part of the process, but every process needs participation to be successful, and UI can’t afford to miss the mark on this decision.