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					Sunday, December 18, 2011

From the Coeur d’Alene Press
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From the Idaho Spokesman-Review
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From the Idaho-Press Tribune, Nampa
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From the Idaho Statesman
 William G. Gilbert: The turnaround at U of I is palpable (Commentary)
From the Twin Falls Times-News
 Higher ed social work options expand at CSI
From the Idaho State Journal
 Pay Plan Spurs Debate
From the Idaho Falls Post Register (password required)
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FROM THE IDAHO SPOKESMAN-REVIEW

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FROM THE IDAHO STATESMAN

William G. Gilbert: The turnaround at U of I is palpable (Commentary)

READER'S VIEW: University of Idaho

BY WILLIAM G. GILBERT JR. - Idaho Statesman
Edition Date: 01/03/08

I am a proud graduate of the University of Idaho. Through all of the recent challenges,
alumni and supporters like me have remained committed to the university and its future. I
was encouraged by the questions Idaho Statesman reporter Bill Roberts asked me and
others in his recent articles that examined the university's "road back." What Mr. Roberts
reported is what we've known all along, and what President Tim White clearly stated: the
University of Idaho continues to be a leader in higher education, both in Idaho and the
world beyond.
As a first-generation college student, attending the University of Idaho was one of the
most important decisions of my life. The education that I received was the foundation for
the career and personal successes that I have achieved. I am not unique. The University
of Idaho has been providing this experience to graduates for more than 100 years. As
alumni, we feel a responsibility to ensure that subsequent generations have the same
opportunity.

For that reason, I now serve as the chairman of the University of Idaho Foundation, Inc.
This 30-year-old nonprofit organization supports the university by securing, managing
and distributing private funds. During times of economic and market fluctuations, as well
as changes at the institution, the foundation's portfolio has continued to show growth. In
the past decade alone, the total assets managed by the foundation have grown more than
75 percent, from $134 million in 1998 to more than $235 million in 2007. The assets
come from generous donors who support the university's programs, students, faculty, and
facilities.

During that same 10-year period, the foundation has distributed more than $135 million
to the University of Idaho for programs and scholarships. In each of the past three years
the foundation has set records for disbursements to the university from the foundation-
managed endowment pool known as the Consolidated Investment Trust.

As chair of this organization, I've been privileged to witness the amazing dedication and
support from foundation members, university friends, and contributors. The foundation
board of directors has demonstrated unwavering resolve and determination during
turbulent times. The board has completed an exhaustive self-assessment and structural
realignment to ensure that it operates effectively and efficiently as the university
continues to grow in the years to come. The University of Idaho Foundation continues to
be an organization that everyone in the state of Idaho, alumni or not, can be proud of.

I am proud of my alma mater and the strides and accomplishments that it has made.
President White has brought energy, vision, and action to the university's people,
programs, and place. The turnaround is palpable. But the renewal at the University of
Idaho isn't just about the institution itself; we all must continue our support of and
dedication to higher education - whatever your alma mater may be. It is all about helping
the students in this great state prepare to lead future generations.



FROM THE TWIN FALLS TIMES-NEWS

Higher ed social work options expand at CSI

BSU programs coming in fall '08, spring '09
By Andrea Gates
Times-News writer
College of Southern Idaho authorities said more social work degree programs are needed
in the Magic Valley, and now they have done something about that.
"We asked Boise State to expand their program," said Claudeen Buettner, executive vice
president and chief academic officer at CSI.

Two social work programs through Boise State University will soon be offered at CSI, at
the baccalaureate and master's degree levels.

A master's program will be available at CSI this fall. Applications are online and due by
Jan. 15. One of the program tracks will be for students who already have their bachelor's
degrees in social work, and around 18 students will take weekend and evening classes -
either full-time to get their master's in a year - or part-time for their degree in two years.

Another masters-level program track will be for 18 students who have an undergraduate
degree in something other than social work, and they will have three years to complete
the program geared for part-time students.

A five-semester bachelor degree program in social work will also be taught on the CSI
campus through BSU in the fall of 2009. The first class will have 20 students taking day
classes, and applications will go online through the BSU Web site in March.

But the master's program, which will be academically equivalent to the Boise-based
version, is also expected to be a little pricier.

"It's a little more expensive," said William Simpson Whitaker, BSU coordinator for the
social work master's program. "The curriculum is exactly the same."

That's because the master's program in Boise uses state money appropriations, which
complements the tuition paid by students, Whittaker said.

BSU officials expect the new social work master's program at CSI will cost about $300
per credit, Whittaker said. Graduate programs on the BSU campus will cost slightly less -
$267 per credit this summer.

Prices for bachelor level social work classes are expected to be the same as they are at
BSU, Whitaker said. But the Idaho State Board of Education won't set those tuition rates
until April, he said.

CSI already offers associate degrees in social work, but there's room for more
opportunities, college authorities stressed.

"There is such a need for social workers in this area," said Jim Gentry, CSI social science
department chair.

Job opportunities for social workers are expanding, Gentry said, to include more than just
the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare - which was once the "only game in town,"
he said.
State social workers agree their job market has burgeoned to include juvenile corrections,
hospitals, schools and various business services.

Social workers currently employed by the state are also interested in the new master's
program, said Kathy James, a regional program manager for the Idaho Department of
Health and Welfare.

"We're tickled to have something so local," she said. "There's a number of bachelor level
staffers here interested in the program."

The new master's program could give people in the local social work field an opportunity
to make more money and advance their careers - without leaving far from home.

James said the annual salary for a state-employed social worker in Idaho with a
bachelor's degree is $32,000 to $53,000, not including benefits. With a master's degree
that salary range bumps up a bit from $34,000 to $57,000.

There are more than 30 doctoral, master's and bachelor's degree programs from BSU,
University of Idaho and Idaho State University available on the CSI campus, Buettner
said.

After a new 70,000 square-foot, $22 million health science building is erected at CSI in
mid to late 2009, there will be more space for higher education programs. CSI's Aspen
Building is slated to house these higher education programs when the new health facility
is erected, said Sheri Stroud, the BSU coordinator at CSI.

College officials meet monthly to discuss possible program expansions, which are often
planned eight years in advance, Buettner said. "The sky's the limit."

Andrea Gates can be reached at 735-3380, or Andrea.Gates@lee.net



FROM THE IDAHO STATE JOURNAL

Pay Plan Spurs Debate

Local union official says iSTARS is an effort to bust the Idaho Education Association

BY CASEY SANTEE csantee@journalnet.com

  POCATELLO — Bill Davis considers a proposed merit pay system for Idaho educators
to be a veiled attempt at taking power away from the state’s strongest teachers’ union.
  The Idaho Department of Education’s plan, called iSTARS, will be among the top
issues considered by the Legislature this session.
  Davis, vice president of the Pocatello Education Association, says more than 30 other
merit pay systems are on the table nationwide, but Idaho’s is the only one that requires
teachers to opt out of their continuing contract rights to get bonuses.
  “I don’t think it’s about getting more money to teachers at all,” said Davis, an English
teacher at New Horizons, an alternative high school. “I think it’s a union busting move.
iSTARS is aimed directly at the IEA (which represents more than 11,000 Idaho teachers).
We’re big and powerful and (State Superintendent Tom Luna) and some in the
Legislature don’t like that.”
  Luna, who proposed the system last fall, flatly denied the assertion. He said teachers
who participate in his plan will still have collective bargaining rights under the IEA, as
well as due process.
  “I find that argument curious. There’s nothing in iSTARS that even addresses a
person’s membership in any association or union. (Teachers) are free to participate in any
association and still participate in iSTARS.”
  Currently, the base salary for Idaho’s teachers is $31,000 per year. However, with a
pending teacher shortage in the state fueled by higher wages for teachers in neighboring
states, officials on both sides of the issue say increasing pay for educators is necessary for
future recruitment and retention. Luna said iSTARS will also increase student
performance because it will give teachers incentives to increase their students’
standardized test scores, among other reasons.
  ISTARS is a five-tier, bonus system added to the top of the existing salary schedule. It
would give participating teachers the chance to earn an additional $12,000 annually,
which breaks down to $2,400 for each tier.
  While the IEA is opposed to many portions of the proposal, the third tier, called
“Career Opportunity,” is by far the most controversial. To access the top two tiers,
teachers must first give up their rights to a continuing contract, which guarantees them
due process before termination. Idaho’s teachers are offered continuing contracts after
four years on the job.
  Under iSTARS, teachers would be offered limited contracts that range between one and
three years.
  Kathy Leishman, PEA president and a Hawthorne Middle School English teacher, said
teachers receiving the one-year version would likely not get any due process rights if
their jobs are threatened. She said by the time the union could take action on behalf of
those educators, the one-year contract would have already expired.
  “It’s taking rights away from teachers,” Leishman said. “Why does this state feel it has
to do that when no other state does?”
  Leishman said few teachers who chose Career Leadership would continue to pay the
association’s dues, which cost hundreds of dollars per year.
  According to iSTARS, the top two tiers above Career Opportunity offer bonuses for
obtaining additional teaching certificates and for assuming leadership roles, such as
serving on volunteer committees and mentoring new teachers.
  Davis said he has been a mentor and served on committees throughout his career, but
that will have to stop if iSTARS becomes law.
  “Here’s what’s going to happen. I’m going to quit doing those things, and they can get
someone willing to give up their contract to do them. I hear Luna’s supporters say
teachers will fall all over themselves to do this. I’d be hard-pressed to name 10 who
would be willing to give up their contract rights.”
  He said the new system would undoubtedly pit teachers against teachers on many
levels. The first tier is linked to student achievement based on standardized test scores.
As a teacher at an alternative school, Davis said most of his students attend New
Horizons because they fell behind in the curriculum.
  “I love my work. I teach here because I want to be here and work with these types of
students,” Davis said. “I can help these kids, and I think every teacher here is here for this
same reason. Who’s going to want to teach these kids when I retire? No one will want to
teach them because they wont get the bonuses.”
  Luna said his plan is all about choice.
  “Everyone has the choice to participate or not participate,” Luna said. “Currently, that
choice is not available.”



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