[Vision2020] BYU-Idaho Enrollment

Jerry Weitz gweitz at moscow.com
Sat Sep 30 23:16:10 PDT 2006

UI needs a boost with a business/ed research park similar to say Chapel 
Hill, N.C..  WSU/Pullman/IU/Moscow are the assets.  As Ed Schweitzer 
said,  we live in a sea of land and a declining population.  Schweitzer 
Engineering has a challenge in recruitment and expansion due to the lack of 
housing and population.  Schweitzer has said that his company in not in the 
real estate business, yet had to develop over 90 acres for housing.  The no 
growth folks are hurting the UI, our area's potential, and Schweitzer.

The UI is down 737 students state wide, with a decline  of 628 at the 
Moscow campus.  BSU is up 277 to 18,876 (BSU has increased enrollment 9 out 
of the last 10 years).  BYU/Idaho is up 1220 students.  Within five years, 
at present growth rates, BYU/Idaho will see 20,000 students and within 10 
years 30,000.  Recall, BYU/Idaho with President Kim Clark, the immediate 
former dean of Harvard Business School, has three imperitives: 1) Vastly 
increase enrollment, 2) vastly improve educational quality, and 3) keep 
relative educational costs down. Note that BYU/Provo turns away 
qualifiedsutdents-- about as many that apply.. I would guess: one of the 
church's motives for expansion. BYU/Provo is a high educational quality 
school. UI will most likely benefit at the graduate level due to BYU/Idaho 
enrollment increases and mostly likely will see a decline in LDS kids at 
the undergraduate level.

ISU has lost about10% this year ( a decline of over 1200 ).  UI officials 
anticipated that its Twin Falls campus would suffer large declines and made 
the right move to transfer out.   Presently, UI's commendable response is 
to place a lot of effort into recruitment and quality, however all Idaho 
Public Universities will following suit and the competition will be 
strong.  The result may be little net gain.

There will be a push by UI to have a strong presence in CDA.  Presently, 
for example, CDA has been begging UI for a MBA program in their 
area.  Money is the issue..  Gonzaga has filled the MBA role so far and is 
expensive.  The MBA needs to be tailored for the working professional.

Here is the challange:  If the community keeps up with its petty politics, 
such as stopping safe highways, serving an eviction notice to the 
Alternative High School, not dealing with water and other 
infrastructure..schools, losing its commerical base to the Pullman 
corridor, then the UI will have to accept declines in status, funding, and 
enrollment. It will be like Ohio University vs Ohio State University in 
dealing with BSU.  All of higher ed will now have to compete with k-12 if 
the economy softens due to the sales tax shift.
Boise will get a community college and should.. adding more competition for 
the ed dollar.

Yet, there exists a tremendous potential here on the Palouse for a robust 
economy and thriving Universities.  Think of the possiblities in 
alternative energy, global warming solutions (after all the ozone layer has 
almost been restored), agriculture, water, etc.  and the spin off's.  Think 
of how much value Schweitzer Engineering has added to humankind and this 
area.  Think of how the UI's reputation would be enhanced..the MIT of the 
west.  The Palouse Universities have the potential of being defining 21th 
Century institutions. The community must embrace growth and change (the 
only constant).

Now Tom, what are you going to do and what postion are you going to 
take?  Jerry

At 04:12 PM 9/26/06, Tom Trail wrote:
>One should keep an eye on the enrollment trends in S.E. Idaho.  The
>enrollment at BYU-Idaho in Rexburg is over 15,000, and experts predict
>that within a few years it will overtake BSU and thus become the largest
>institution of higher learning in Idaho.   The 9% drop in enrollment at
>ISU may be partially attributed competition with BYU-Idaho.
>Rep. Tom Trail
>Dr. Tom Trail
>International Trails
>1375 Mt. View Rd.
>Moscow, Id. 83843
>Tel:  (208) 882-6077
>Fax:  (208) 882-0896
>e mail ttrail at moscow.com
>  List services made available by First Step Internet,
>  serving the communities of the Palouse since 1994.
>                http://www.fsr.net
>           mailto:Vision2020 at moscow.com

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