As we approach the holiday season, I want to wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
I know many of you have in some way or another participated in discussions which focused on our accreditation visit next April. Accreditation is one of the most critical tests any institution has to endure. It is complex, time consuming, and every employee has to have sound knowledge of the institution and our self study which outlines who we are, but we will all profit from the experience. I thank you for your participation and encourage each of you to familiarize your self with our self-study when it becomes available in January.
We received $530,000 from our congressional delegation, which is designated for student safely. Our first effort will be to alter our entrance and exit on Falls Avenue. This will include placing a stoplight on Falls Avenue which will allow our vehicle and pedestrian traffic, hopefully, a safe passage entering and leaving our campus. We are beginning conversations with an engineer and city personnel to determine the best possible option, keeping in mind the importance of finishing the project before school begins next fall. We are also going to study our parking lots to see if better efficiency could be gained by 45 degree parking.
We have started conversations with our legislative delegation concerning next year’s funding. The State will face a considerable shortfall if the 1-cent sales tax is sunsetted as anticipated. This will reduce revenues by about $180 million. We are encouraged by the fact that the state economy is starting to rebound and Idaho has filled a number of jobs lost previously during the recession. It is too early to have a good feel as to what will occur during this session, but we are hopeful that the positive news of the economy will reflect on the budget committee’s appropriations.
I want to wish you and yours a joyous Holiday Season.