In many ways, this academic year has been one of transition for the University of Idaho.
The editorial board has used this very space to provide commentary on a wide array of topics — the selection of our new president, the classification and compensation debacle and more recently, the implications of UI’s Focus For the Future campaign, which raised a number of eyebrows and concerns and surely will continue to do so as the process moves on.
UI hired its new president, played its first season of football under a new coach who now has been dealt a tough hand as the program was sanctioned for poor Academic Progress Rate scores, which will prevent the team from playing in the postseason.
Major changes to the Student Code of Conduct were implemented and the university’s Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival witnessed its lowest attendance figures in recent history.
We applauded the university’s efforts on a few occasions and reprimanded them on others, praising the decision to expand jurisdiction of the Dean of Students Office, but chastising UI administration on multiple occasions for lack of transparency and communication.
This was a year of house cleaning for UI — the important decisions made by UI administrators that go unseen by the student body, but are invaluable to the university’s image.
While UI continues to deal with budget shortfalls — notably the astronomical tag on deferred maintenance costs — in addition to the ramifications stemming from potential Title IX violations, it also made a number of positive steps that will set our institution up for an ideal future.
Expanded jurisdiction pertaining to the code of conduct will help hold students accountable for their actions off campus, while the university made important strides in retaining first-year students — an effort that will surely help UI’s enrollment.
Credit should be given to Interim President Don Burnett for leading the university through this difficult transitional period. Being in a high-level administrative position for a short period of time through difficult decisions is a hard job, and Burnett handled the position admirably.
This transitional period has been difficult, but persevering through these decisions will lead UI to a beatter future for our flagship institution.