New U of I chief: More students, safe campus

President Chuck Staben said he has spent his first 80 or so days listening to those around him.

MOSCOW-PULLMAN DAILY NEWSMay 27, 2014 

Chuck Staben said the U of I now has 10,000 students and looks to recruit an additional 5,000 during the next few years.

"I think we need to be more strategic and aggressive in enrollment management strategies. I think we haven't been as effective in marketing the value that we offer students and families as we could be," Staben said.

Staben told the Moscow-Pullman Daily News that the university needs to work on recruiting more efficiently across the state, particularly in the markets in southern and southeastern Idaho.

"Students need to understand that they can go to college, No. 1, and that the University of Idaho is a good place for them to go to college," Staben said.

Staben said this means working more with the high schools around the state and possibly making some changes in how the university positions communication personnel in areas such as Boise and Idaho Falls.

Staben has also said he is interested in increasing international students to 10 percent, up from the 6 percent now. He said beyond adding diversity and "international flavor" to the campus, these students are typically paying out-of-state, full tuition, which brings a financial benefit to the university.

Staben joined the university a few short days before a new state bill was passed allowing guns on campus. He said the university is, has been, and will continue to be, a safe campus. He has charged a task force headed by public safety and communications faculty of the university to work on the implementation of the law, which will go into effect July 1.

"Our campus is really a statewide campus," Staben said. "We have a huge campus here in Moscow, but we have places in Coeur d'Alene, Boise, Idaho Falls, Twin Falls and extension and research centers in 42 of Idaho's 44 counties. We have people all over the place and we think of that whole thing as our campus, which has some interesting aspects in terms of enforcement."

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