University of Idaho president C. Scott Green addressed the campus community Tuesday morning, marking the start of a new academic year.
Green, the U of I’s 19th president, spoke confidently about the school’s future even amidst projected enrollment and funding challenges.
And part of that confidence comes from the university’s decision to acquire the University of Phoenix.
Phoenix purchase will broaden opportunities, Green says
The University of Phoenix acquisition has been scrutinized statewide — but that isn’t shaking Green’s confidence.
Nontraditional higher education is gaining momentum, Green says, posing a threat to institutions that bank on traditional enrollment. As universities launch into the future, they must seek out methods to better serve the adult and nontraditional learning communities. And that’s where the University of Phoenix comes into play, Green told a large crowd Tuesday.
“The University of Phoenix holds significant value as an institution of higher education by providing accessible and flexible learning opportunities to a diverse range of students,” the president said. “Through its online programs, the university caters to working adults, whose average age is 38, and nontraditional learners who face constraints in pursuing a traditional education.”
“University of Idaho and our Board of Regents remain committed to closing this transaction, as the benefits for our university and the state of Idaho are more compelling than ever,” he continued.
Green characterized the multimillion dollar purchase as a “good financial decision” for the U of I. He denied that the U of I would be liable for expenses related to the Federal Trade Commission’s dealings with Phoenix.
Other expanded education opportunities
Beyond the Phoenix purchase, Green touted other expanded education opportunities with the U of I during Tuesday’s speech.
The university has partnered with the College of Western Idaho to launch the JumpStart program, an initiative that will allow Treasure Valley learners to kickstart their education and ease the transfer process between Idaho colleges and universities.
High schoolers, first-year college students or transfer students can begin taking general education courses through JumpStart at the U of I’s Boise campus this fall. The courses are designed to accommodate work schedules to provide easier access to education for Idaho’s young, working population.
“(JumpStart) aligns with our land grant mission of providing practical, accessible educational opportunities for all of Idaho,” Green said.
The U of I will also continue supporting innovative student and faculty research, as well as education opportunities for Idaho’s imprisoned populations.