I am thrilled to be back in Moscow to take the helm at the University of Idaho. To be in this role, after my childhood years roaming campus with my grandfather, Leon “Doc” Green, makes for a special homecoming. The UI presidency is an incredible honor.

This university’s mission is to serve our state’s citizens, communities and industries. For Idaho to thrive, UI has to deliver on that mission.

As an alumnus, I’ve stayed close to the Vandal Family as my career took me to new places. I’ve never forgotten the life-changing experience I had at UI. On the Palouse I found opportunity and inspiration, skills and perspectives, mentorship and lifelong friendships. Those discoveries have informed my personal and professional growth for decades. I know I’m not alone.

This summer I’ll be in Moscow and will also travel across the state to hear firsthand from our students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members. As I get to know our people and places across Idaho – we’re firmly embedded across this state, from Bonners Ferry to Bear Lake County – I’m particularly interested in three principal priorities to deliver on our mission.

First, supporting student success is front and center. We offer incredible academic experiences in everything from architecture to business to computer science – and that’s just the first three letters of the alphabet. UI can and should be an innovative, outcomes-oriented institution for our students. We’ll prioritize enrollment, retention, graduation rates and career outcomes. We must deliver the breakthrough experiences our students deserve and our state demands.

Second, we must ensure excellence across our research, scholarship and creative activity. Vandals are on the front lines of everything from space exploration to cybersecurity to agriculture and natural resources to clean water and renewable energy. We’ll continue to connect research to the student experience, and continue to do work that makes a difference in our world.

Third, this university has incredible stories to tell. I’m proud to be ambassador-in-chief for this university. I ask all Vandals, including our alumni and friends, to join me in sharing our UI success stories. Let’s come together in pride as the “Tribe from the North” – the world’s one and only Vandals.

We have some short- and long-term challenges. We have to stabilize our financial picture. We must attract more students. We have key leadership positions to fill and critical relationships to develop. To tackle those areas, I’ll rely on working groups made up of people from inside and outside the university to study problems, offer recommendations and develop roadmaps for implementing solutions. My guiding principles as president will be collaboration, transparency and informed decision-making.

The University of Idaho has unlimited potential – just like our state. As I begin my presidency, I’m encouraged by our success and enthusiastic about the prospect of growing it. Great educational experiences, and inspiring research, can fuel the future of Idaho. We will be nothing less than brave and bold in that mission.

Scott Green is the president of the University of Idaho.

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