Talk:University of Idaho

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New data on graduation rates[edit]

Regarding graduation rates in the lead, it says "At 25% and 53%, it's 4 and 6 year graduation rates, respectively, are nearly twice that of any other university in Idaho". However, the most recent citations for that information were listed as 2011. In the 2012 higher education factbook published by the Idaho State Board of Education, graduation rates at Boise State University, Idaho State University and Lewis and Clark State College have all risen while graduation rates at the University of Idaho have fallen. As a result the gap between "nearly twice that of any other university in Idaho" has widened to the point where that's no longer a good comparison. This, with the citation of the 2012 factbook, I'm changing to say "At 25% and 53%, it's 4 and 6 year graduation rates are the highest of any public university in Idaho". From the chart, it appears the 6 year graduation rate should be lowered to 52% rather than 53%, but it doesn't state the percentage explicitly so if someone has a better link for data please feel free to update with better numbers. (talk) 05:52, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Best school in Idaho?[edit]

Regarding the "best school in Idaho" claim--that's not necessarily POV. Otherwise, the Ivy League article would be pretty thin. I'd say put it back in until someone can come up with disproof--I can't think of any better colleges in Idaho. Yours, Meelar 18:05, 13 Mar 2004 (UTC)

There are other colleges in Idaho?!?!? Just kidding of course. It isn't POV if it's sourced. So somebody source it. PeaceOfSheet (talk) 20:53, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

I believe it is POV as it matters a great deal how you define best. For example, Boise State University (also in Idaho) has the highest admission standards of any state university in Idaho, the highest student population, serves the largest metropolitan area, has (by far) higher name recognition, etc... NPOV would be to state, as the article does, the various ways UI excels (grad rate, research funding, etc...). This would be NPOV because it would allow readers to make up their own minds about "best" based on their own criteria. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:30, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

The claim of "best" is supported with rankings from Forbes, USNews, etc. Coul2888 (talk) 05:35, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
Checking sources
  • Forbes ranks The College of Idaho #183, Brigham Young University-Idaho #229, University of Idaho #449, Boise State University #614, Idaho State University #622 [1]
  • US News didn't give me a good sense of the rankings but mentioned seven Idaho schools [2]
  • Washington Monthly ranks University of Idaho #99, Idaho State University #241 [3]
Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 06:48, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

"Best" is inherently POV as what's best for one person may not be best for another. Imagine 2 schools equal in every way except the city they're in. Then picture 2 students, one wants a school in a metropolitan area the other likes small towns. "Best" would be different depending on who you ask. In complex entities where one does some thing better and another does other things better you can't use a simple "best" label. If you want to mention the Forbes list or USN&WR rankings, that's certainly relevant and worthy of mention. But to use them to label UI "best" in the state overlooks a lot of other qualifications from the other Idaho schools. ISU has an, objectively, better health program. Boise State has, objectively, higher admission standards. Further, we could go back and forth all day on how the city size, student population, sports programs, facilities, etc... figured into "best". "Best" can't be objectively done without a scoreboard (and even then there's usually debate). It is inherently POV and shouldn't be used. (talk) 21:06, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

The fact that some magazines ratings rate one school higher than another does not at all speak to the use of the label "best". Unless you can find an article that states "U of I" is "best", it is WP:OR. Gtwfan52 (talk) 08:54, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

College of Art and Architecture[edit]

The College of Art and Architecture is an official college at the University of Idaho. The State Board of Education mandated that the college be reinstated and set the professional fees for the college. See [4] page 21. I added the website as well. --ejectorpod

Merge from Memorial Gymnasium (Moscow, Idaho)[edit]

The University of Idaho article has a section on Memorial Gymnasium, which this article should probably be merged into. --benwildeboer D(talk - contribs) 16:13, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:IdahoVandals.gif[edit]

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BetacommandBot 08:44, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Whether the "flagship" status of a university can be presented as objective fact[edit]

There is currently an RfC on this question at Talk:University of Maine#Flagship RFC. Coppertwig (talk) 12:44, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

The University of Idaho will no longer be the state’s “flagship” university — at least in its mission statement — after the State Board of Education voted unanimously to remove the word from the Idaho’s mission statement at Thursday's meeting.

Read more here: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:16, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

A “flagship” university applies to the “fully mature public universities serving most of states,” according to Robert M. Berdahl, the former chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley. Berdahl talked about flagship universities during his convocation at Texas A&M University in 1998 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:42, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

That sounds like an expression of Berdahl's POV as of 1998, supported by a verifiable reliable source, and sounds like it has due topical weight. As such, it would probably be worthy of inclusion in the article. The event of the removal of the term flagship from University of Idaho's mission statement by the Idaho Board of Education in 2012, supported by this source is also worthy of inclusion in the article. Inclusion of the term flagship in the lead does not appear warranted as of 2012. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 01:00, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
The above cited reference fro Robert M. Berdahl is indeed important to this conversation. However, the above snippet does not encompass the entirety of Berdahl's opinion defining "flagship". As stated "What do we mean by the term "flagship" universities? The term applies, in all the cases I can think of, to the fully mature public universities serving most of states. In most cases, these institutions were the first public universities to be established in their states. Many of what we now call the flagship campuses were established in the extraordinary period of university building that took place in the United States in the roughly three decades from the mid-1850s to the mid-1880s. Many came into being after the Morrill Act of 1863 provided the federal grants of land to the states to establish public universities." As he points out, most were the first public universities in their respective states and many were established by the Morrill Act in 1863. The University of Idaho not only meets the first mature public university criteria stated, but is the only institution in the State of Idaho that meets the other criteria mentioned by Berdahl (it is the oldest and was established by the Morrill Act). Hosl9595 (talk) 03:06, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes. That comes from this 1998 convocation address by Berdahl at Texas A&M University. Flagship#Education cites it and quotes from it. There, Berdahl noted by way of introduction
... those of us in 'systems' of higher education are frequently actively discouraged from using the term 'flagship' to refer to our campuses because it is seen as hurtful to the self-esteem of colleagues at other institutions in our systems. The use of the term is seen by some as elitist and boastful. It is viewed by many, in the context of the politics of higher education, as 'politically incorrect.' [...] Only in the safe company of alumni is one permitted to use the term.
Berdahl went on there (in such safe company) to define the term and to use it in discussing universities fitting his definition. Berdahl's comment about the term being seen as hurtful to self-esteem, as elitist, as boastful, as 'politically incorrect' (and, I add, WP:PEACOCK) when used outside of that safe company seems particularly apt in this particular case—the Idaho Statesman article linked above reports UofI President Duane Nellis saying that the board’s decision followed objections from other state universities that thought the word was unfair to them.
It seems to me that making an editorial decision to continue using that term in the lead of this WP article despite the Idaho Board of Ed's decision to remove it from the UofI mission statement would violate WP:NPOV. To say, "UI is the state's flagship university" (as the lead currently says, citing in support a 2008 journal article and a 2006 list of flagship universities) when the Idaho Board of Ed explicitly removed the term in 2012 from the University's mission statement (with Board President Richard Westerberg saying, "We don’t want to do anything that tries to indicate prominence, ...") looks to me like editorial distortion. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 04:56, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
I disagree that describing this institution as a "flagship" is necessarily POV now that its governing body has rescinded the official designation. Although some states and systems do indeed categorize one or more of their universities as officially-designated flagships, the term long ago entered into common usage beyond the control of official bodies. If notable authorities describe this institution as a flagship university, it is probably appropriate that we note that in this encyclopedia article. We should clarify any such description as unsupported by the state but that should not prevent us from quoting and citing other eminent sources. ElKevbo (talk) 08:57, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
That doesn't sound unreasonable. How about instead of describing the university as a "flagship university" in the lead, the reportage of the event of the removal of the flagship designation previously removed from the timeline as insignificant be restored and linked to a footnote clarifying all that stuff, citing supporting sources? (The wikitext mechanics of doing that can be seen at WP:REFNEST) Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 13:30, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
This seems like a reasonable approach. The unofficial "flagship" statement added at the end of the lead is qualified with cites provided and should remain, regardless of one's personal belief in this matter. Although I understand the desire to add a linkage of the Idaho Statesman article (which is linked in the lead) and subsequent footnote in the historical timeline, I suggest some caution here. Almost all government, for-profit, and NGO organizations regularly update mission statements (sometimes numerous times a year). It could be a very slippery and unsupportable slope if WP wishes to clutter up all organizational articles by recording each mission alteration as historical timeline qualified items. However, it does make perfect sense if the change results in major shifts in the strategy or operation of said organization. For example, if the University in this case subsequently closed colleges, dropped programs, or added programs, then certainly that would be worthy of a historical timeline entry. Hosl9595 (talk) 19:00, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

They are not the State's flagship University anymore. PERIOD! They can't be called the flagship or referred to it in anyway unless it is to say that title was taken away from them. Thats it.Bsuorangecrush (talk) 18:29, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

There seems to be enough supporting evidence to state that The University of Idaho is generally considered to be the flagship, as long as it is noted that it is not an official title. Please try to not let emotion override the facts of the issue. Coul2888 (talk) 18:58, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
The state of Idaho dosen't even consider them the flagship! That's the only argument there is! Supporting evidence is that it was removed thus they are not the flagship! How hard is that to understand!?! STOP calling them the flagship!Bsuorangecrush (talk) 19:15, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
But there exists evidence that in the circles of higher education, The University of Idaho is considered to be the flagship and top institution in the state. And therefore that statement is valid for inclusion. Coul2888 (talk) 19:22, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Digging your feet in and edit warring to support your position regardless of the body of evidence and consensus is not a productive approach. You're welcome to hold and defend a contrary opinion but you are not welcome to edit war to impose your opinion. ElKevbo (talk) 22:54, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
It flat does not matter what so called evidence shows, Its own state board of education has removed it as being the flagship. If their own state dosen't want them called that then they should not be called that at all. The statement is not valid for inclusion, it should be removed. The only reference to it should be if mentioned that it was removed in February of 2012 or that it was from whenever to February 2012. To say that it is considered the flagship of the state is completly false!Bsuorangecrush (talk) 06:08, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

I disagree strongly. The sources cited declaring Idaho the "flagship" university are either VERY out of date and some fail to mention either "Idaho" or "flagship" at all. The "Ranking the Nations Flagship" article is from 2008, when the University of Idaho was the designated flagship university in Idaho. The speech by Dr. Berdahl, fails to mention Idaho at all and specifically calls flagships the original institution in a system of universities - a designation that never applied to UI. Similarly the LSU flagship list is copyrighted 2006. And the America's Top College list fails to use the word flagship anywhere in the article. Simply put, THE authority on what Idaho universities are (and are not) is the State Board of Education. To cite clearly outdated articles, while ignoring more recent developments, in an effort to push an agenda is the very definition of POV. The flagship designation, and its removal, should probably be mentioned in the article somewhere. However, its inclusion in the lead (especially with the "it is widely considered" prefix) is a violation of NPOV — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:19, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

The university itself (or its board of education) cannot be an authority on its own reputation. So until 3rd party reference are available that refute its general reputation as flagship, it seems like these references are the best available and should be included. Coul2888 (talk) 05:39, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
THEIR OWN STATE dosen't refer to them as the flagship. That should be the only reference needed. I really don't see how there can be any other argument then that.Bsuorangecrush (talk) 05:48, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

No - you are incorrect. The Idaho SBOE decided that UI could not add the word to their mission statement - this does not alter the fact that they are the preeminent (or flagship) institution of higher education in the state of Idaho — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:19, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

You are wrong. The state of Idaho does not want them being called the flagship, so they can't be called the flagship. The very fact that its no longer in their mission statement is proof that they are not the flagship.Bsuorangecrush (talk) 00:00, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
The board of education's decision has no bearing on the university's general reputation. However, the reference to the statesman article you added does provide relevant information to the fact that it is not an official title and should be included. Coul2888 (talk) 00:22, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Reputation shouldn't matter. The term flagship means that it is the head of the universities of the state in which they are not. The state has removed that from them. It should not matter what anyone else thinks. They are not the flagship, a reference to them as the flagship is against the wishes of their own state.Bsuorangecrush (talk) 01:21, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
The state of Idaho does not control what everyone else in the world believes. ElKevbo (talk) 00:15, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
And just because you say it is widely considered the flagship doesn't make it true either. The sources that are be used right now to back that claim are terrible! One of them doesn't even mention U of I.Bsuorangecrush (talk) 23:27, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

The most recent change by Special:Contributions/ seems incorrect. External sources also identify the university as the state's flagship. Also, the addition of the football record seems inappropriate for the lead on a university, and at any rate appears to be false. Coul2888 (talk) 21:14, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Indeed. And saying that "University of Idaho partisans" have labeled the university a flagship institution is another false statement. Given the ongoing discussion, I can not assume good faith of that editor; his or her edits that only add demonstrably false statements to an article are unequivocally vandalism and will be treated as such. ElKevbo (talk) 00:15, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
Are you serious? You really have a problem with factual statements don't you? It is a FACT that the football team has the 2nd worst record in FBS history: Take a look. 108 out of 109. Further, it is a FACT that the State Board removed the flagship designation in February of 2012. Finally, it is a FACT that the only people who widely consider the U of I the flagship university are Vandal partisans. So what, exactly, is demosntrably false? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:50, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
First, it is demonstrably false that only "partisans" consider this university to be a flagship. You might want to believe so because it seems to strengthen your position but it's clearly untrue and it's deceptive to claim otherwise. You simply need to accept the fact that the Idaho legislature does not control anyone's opinion so others are free to believe that this university meets broader or alternative definitions of "flagship."
Second, we have been presented with another reliable source that contradicts your favored source regarding the football team's record. It's obvious that a win-loss ratio can be calculated in many different ways and at a minimum any discussion of the ratio must address that issue. It's also not at all clear why we need to include this information in the article at all; it certainly belongs in the article about the football team but why does it merit mention in this article about the university as a whole? If we must mention that the football team is terrible (and it certainly appears to be terrible; I'm currently at Indiana University so I know a terrible football team when I see one!) then a brief, well-sourced statement saying so may be appropriate. But such a statement should be sourced to one or more really good sources, not one that requires interpretation and is contradicted by other sources. Surely some authoritative sources have said that this team sucks! :) Find them and cite them. ElKevbo (talk) 21:56, 24 February" 2012 (UTC)
It is not false at all, certainly no more then your OPINION that is "widely" considered the flagship. What is your definition of widely? 30%? 50%? Just you? It should be omitted entirely unless you conduct a poll and find a majority of respondants consider it to be "flagship". Where is your reliable source? At least I list mine. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 17:40, February 24, 2012‎
Interesting. Would changing the wording to "some sources" be acceptable? I propose changing the statement to be: "It is consistently ranked as the top public institution in the state of Idaho[5]. With a graduation rate that is significantly higher than other state schools and more than double the research expenditures of all other Idaho universities combined, it is considered by some sources to be the state's flagship university[6][7][8]." Coul2888 (talk) 02:39, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
That is a reasonable objection. I would omit "sources" from the sentence but otherwise it looks fine to me. ElKevbo (talk) 04:13, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
I would also omit the statement about rankings altogether. Not only does it not belong in the lead but the cited source doesn't support it. ElKevbo (talk) 04:15, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
It is the highest ranked public university at that source, but I can see how it would be confusing since the public vs. private status of the universities isn't shown. Coul2888 (talk) 04:54, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
Being highly ranked once is not "consistently." And even if it were it still has no place in the lead; see WP:UNIGUIDE. ElKevbo (talk) 08:05, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

"Although not designated as the state's flagship institution[6], some individuals consider it to be so.[7][8][9]" - The sources are institutions and organizations, not individuals. Also, some implies that it is a limited number. There is not a non-partisan source that disputes UI is the flagship university in Idaho. (talk) 14:14, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Why do you insist on labeling those who disagree with you as "partisan," including the authors of the cited sources? ElKevbo (talk) 18:07, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
It looks like the only source sited is the Idaho SBOE (State Board of Education). This board is highly partisan. Also, the SBOE is only removing the term from the mission statement. I have not found where the SBOE actually claims the University of Idaho is not the flagship. The SBOE hopes the change will encourage more collaboration. "We don't want to do anything that tries to indicate prominence, or to not encourage them to work together," he said. ( ) (talk) 12:27, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

The sources that are being cited for listing UI as the flagship university in the state of Idaho are are from before the state board of education removed that title from their mission statement. Sources coming out after the SBOE took that step have already started to reflect the change. For example the Ridenbaugh Press says that after the vote "BSU as far as public and political perceptions are concerned is now the state of Idaho’s 'flagship' university." ( UI's President Nellis disagreed with the change and sees it as "a step back" ( This indicates that even UI's president sees the mission statement change as a change to their status. The state board says that they "don't want to do anything that tries to indicate prominence" of one program over another ( and the Idaho Statesman (Idaho's largest newspaper) indicates that Boise State and UI are very separate entities serving "different niches in the higher education market and provide a very different campus experience to their students." indicating that they're not part of the same system and one does not show leadership over another (

Things have obviously changed. Unless editors can produce NEW sources (not from UI itself) indicating that UI is still considered the flagship university of Idaho, then a reference to that status should be struck from the article completely. After all, I'm sure I can find some websites that haven't been updated since 2003 that still list Saddam Husein as the leader of Iraq. When things change, we shouldn't rely on old sources and outdated material. That's what we're doing here. A sentence or two explaining how UI lost that status would be appropriate but shouldn't be in the lead, no matter how it's qualified. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:45, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

I will agree with that. There is no need for it to be in the lead, that is why I added it to the timeline with a source, but it keeps getting removed. I don't know how an absolute fact with a source can keep getting removed but the timeline seems like an appropriate place for it.Bsuorangecrush (talk) 00:48, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
No. Unless you can establish that the sources that consider this institution a flagship placed importance on the state's opinion then we have no evidence that much of anything has changed. In fact, it is likely that those sources placed little or no weight on the institution's official status since the evaluation of a university as a "flagship" has little or nothing to do with its official status. There may be an impact later down the road if the state reduces the university's funding, particularly in proportion to the other colleges and universities in the state, but we'll have to wait to see if that happens and if it has an impact on others' perception of this university. Until then, this material should absolutely remain in the article unless evidence to the contrary is provided. ElKevbo (talk) 06:39, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

It appears this is being misreported. Flagship was put in and taken out of a proposed mission statement, but was never in the SBOE mission statement. The time line event should be removed as it never happened. Furthermore, "Rush said the removal doesn’t affect the U of I’s marketing material and other communications." The U of I still markets itself as the flagship with the boards consent (talk) 03:48, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

What do you mean it never happened? The fact that we are talking about it proves that it happened. The fact that the state board had to tell them to remove it proves it happened. What are you even talking about the SBOE mission statement? And who cares about the fact that it may not affect their marketing, they still asked them to remove it. And it is important to the school's history, just read the statement their president put out afterward and how emotional he was about it. Ask him if it's important and I'm sure he'd say yes. So I really don't get your argument about it being removed from the timeline.Bsuorangecrush (talk) 05:42, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
The Idaho State Board of Education (SBOE) approves missions statements of the state universities. The SBOE did not approve adding the term "flagship" to the mission statement. At the same time does not require the U of I to stop presenting itself as the flagship university. The event as describe in this page did not happen. (talk) 12:27, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
Although we don't yet know if this is an important historical event, it doesn't hurt anything to include it in the history section particularly as a compromise with other editors. If we come back to this later and it was a non-event then we can simply remove it from the article. ElKevbo (talk) 06:39, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
"The Idaho State Board of Education removes the term "flagship" from the university's mission statement" is inaccurate at minimum. If this event is going to be accurately presented it should read "did not add" instead of "removed" or "proposed mission statement" instead of "mission statement" unless it can be shown in a SBOE approved mission statement using the word flagship. It should also be added that the SBOE does not intend to keep the U of I from marketing itself as the flagship university. (talk) 11:41, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
If the event is going to be left in, it should be accurate. I would propose "The Idaho State Board of Education elected not to add the term "flagship" to the university's mission statement while leaving the flagship mission in the strategic plan." ( ) (talk) 03:46, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
They had it on their mission statement for quite sometime. It had been on their website in their mission statement for quite sometime. Thus it was removed! Your facts are all wrong.Bsuorangecrush (talk) 21:24, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
All the sources sited here with flagship are in the proposed mission statement. The strategic plan for 2011-2015 still calls for the U of I to be the flagship institution for the state. If you have a link to an approved mission statement by the SBOE, please site it. (talk) 03:15, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
I'm far removed from this, and I have not been following this discussion recently. I just took another look at it today, and looked a bit further.
  • I note that the Mission Statement currently available at the UofI website still describes the university as "the state’s flagship and land-grant research university." See the online mission statement
  • From a look at the minutes of the Iowa Board of Education IRSA (Instruction, Research and Student Affairs) work session on Mission Statements which took place on 15 and 16 February, it appears to me that the normal procedure would be for individual institutions to prepare their own mission statements, going through a vetting process as a part of that, and submit those vetted statements to the Board of Ed for approval. It also appears to me that the reason for consideration and approval by the Board of Ed is to assure that the mission statements meet accreditation standards of the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). It also appears to me that the Board of Ed removed the term "flagship" from the approved version of the UofI mission statement without agreement to and re-vetting of that change at the institution level. See the work session minutes
  • Separately, it appears to me that whether or not a mission statement describes an institution as "flagship" has nothing to do with NWCCU accreditation -- see the NWCCU accreditation standards for mission statements.
I would guess that the mission statement posted by the university is the official mission statement of the institution. The statement in attachment 1 of the Board of Ed meeting minutes (with the words "flagship and" stricken) appears to me to constitute a proposed change to the mission statement with, perhaps, an implication that mission statement approval might be withdrawn by the Board of Ed if the stricken words are not removed from the mission statement by the university. That is WP:OR using primary sources, however. A reliable secondary source cited in the article sums up the situation as "State Board of Education removes 'flagship' from University of Idaho's mission". The article goes on to detail that as, "The State Board of Education, which oversees state universities, voted unanimously Thursday to delete the word from the U of I’s mission statement." (speaking there of the word "flagship")
Perhaps a good approach at this point would be
  • Remove the assertion, "Although not designated as the state's flagship institution, some individuals consider it to be so." from the lead for now, as the answer to the question of whether or not the UofI is currently "designated" as the state's flagship institution appears a bit muddy (it is so designated in mission statement at the UofI website -- at least currently).
  • Reword the timeline assertion reading "2012 - The Idaho State Board of Education removes the term 'flagship' from the university's mission statement." to read something like "The Iowa Board of Education voted unanimously on February 16, 2012 to delete the word "flagship" from the U of I’s mission statement.[9]. {{as of|2012|2|29}}, the university's online mission statement still contains that designation.[10]"
  • Update the article as this resolves itself better.
Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 06:11, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
As noted above, the Idaho SBOE is not the sole source for flagship status and it should remain in the lead, but could be better written. "Peer institutions consider the University of Idaho to be the flagship institution for the state (the state does not officially designate a flagship university).
As stated in the time line, it is easily taken out of context. In the same session they removed the term leadership from the other two public universities. Are we to believe that the SBOE does see any academic leadership coming from these institutions? From the sources sited above, the SBOE removed all "comparative" terms from all university mission statement proposals. Or in other words, by the SBOE practice in this session, using the term flagship (and leadership) in a mission statement is not allowed. ( If this is to presented in the time line it should be in this context. MiddleMan67 (talk) 11:48, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
From my position well outside this, I'm thinking "tempest; teapot." Thank you for that link; it supports an assertion that the BofEd's decision was/is controversial. Perhaps an assertion to that effect, supported by that source, should be included in the timeline statement about this. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 12:10, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
RE:"Peer institutions consider the University of Idaho to be the flagship institution for the state (the state does not officially designate a flagship university)." That's a more accurate and descriptive statement than the one currently in the lead about the flagship. Sources show its more than "some individuals" who consider the University of Idaho to be the flagship.Coul2888 (talk) 14:32, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

As stated earlier, the sources being used to say that "peer institutions consider the University of Idaho to be the flagship" are all quite old and from a time when the "flagship" designation was part of the mission statement. If we were to come up with sources from AFTER the SBOE move, then it would be relevant to include. Until then we have to take the most recent news and the most recent events into consideration. Multiple news sources have reported on the fact that UI is not the flagship anymore, I have yet to see one new independent outside source saying that UI is still the flagship. To do otherwise is to violate NPV (talk) 21:43, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

I think the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that there is a link between the official designation and the designation given by independent scholars and administrators. It remains to be seen what impact - if any - this decision will have on the opinions of scholars and administrators who make up their own minds independent of the state legislature and similar bodies. As a higher ed scholar, the official designation of the state would be only one of several factors that I would consider if I were to have to decide if I consider this university to be a flagship university. What I'd really look at would be if the removal of the designation were accompanied by meaningful changes in policy and finances; this may turn out to be an empty gesture that changes nothing but a few lines of text in some document with no legal power. The point is that Wikipedia editors can't make that call - we have to rely on the published reliable sources so until they begin to change we need to document them as they are.
I tried to strike an accurate and fair compromise in the article; please let me know if we need to keep working on this or if we can all move on to more important and interesting matters. In any case, we really need to find something acceptable for now but revisit this in a year or two to see if the situation has changed. ElKevbo (talk) 22:07, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
December 2011, JBHE still recognizes U of I as a flagship institution in report on graduation rates.
January 2012, SpectrumU recognizes U of I as a flagship institution in its report on programs for students with ASD. Given that U of I is consistently recognized by peer institutions, "Peer institutions consider the University of Idaho to be the flagship institution for the state (the state does not officially designate a flagship university)." in the lead would be appropriate.
If the the time line event is to be included, it should not have the futuristic statement as it is a time line. As noted above, it can be removed at any time if there is no impact. Also, if the statement is going to be included in the time line, it should be in the proper context. The SBOE accepted the proposed mission statements last fall, through the vetting process the term flagship was removed because comparative terms were not allowed in mission statements. The time line event should read "February 2012, the State Board of Education removed the term "flagship" from the university's propose mission statement in the vetting process because of a board policy to not allow comparative terms in mission statements."
State Board of Education President Richard Westerberg "The proposed mission statement for the University of Idaho included the term “flagship,” which was not used in previous mission statements and was not deemed appropriate by the board. The proposed mission statements for both Idaho State University and Boise State University were also revised and changes made in an effort to ensure all statements were consistent and collegial in nature rather than comparative or competitive."
To apply this decision to anything but the proposed mission statement would be factually incorrect. "Rush said the removal doesn’t affect the U of I’s marketing material and other communications." MiddleMan67 (talk) 06:25, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
Sources siting the U of I as the flagship university after the SBOE meeting: MiddleMan67 (talk) 06:42, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Uhm... a blog written by a UI graduate, a statement from the UI President and an editorial (that doesn't say UI still is the flagship it says the SBOE shouldn't have removed the title), aren't unbiased sources. The first is just one person's opinion (and a biased person at that). It's already been established that the school doesn't get to dictate their own reputation (so the president's statement is useless). And the editorial doesn't refer to the university as the "flagship", in fact it said the exact opposite (that the change was real and changed the status of the university) - not to mention an editorial isn't the best source ever anyway. These are worthless sources. I do have to agree on the idea that the timeline might not should have the "futuristic statement" as it is a timeline not a prediction line. (talk) 08:29, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Being condescending and judgmental will aid the progression of this discussion.
It's already been established that the school doesn't get to dictate their own reputation This would also need to include SBOE education as they are just as much part of the university as the president. This would make the SBOE position worthless as well as the publications sourcing the SBOE. If a choice has to be made between these two sources, it would be prudent to choose the source that has the subjective reasoning for their position. The president gives a commonly accepted criteria flagship university and provides examples how the university meets the criteria. The SBOE, for this session, decided that it did not want comparative terms in mission statements.
Stating that the stripped the designation is inaccurate. The term was used in a proposed mission statement. The term had never appeared in prior board approved mission statement. Furthermore, the board is not requiring the U of I to stop using the flagship designation in its communication. MiddleMan67 (talk) 14:11, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

I wasn't being condescending or judgmental toward you or anyone else in the discussion. I was discussing the validity and relevance of the sources presented. Those sources (a blog by a UI grad, a statement by UI's president and an editorial which says the opposite of what you want it to say) aren't good sources. They don't meet wiki standards for reliability, bias, or POV. They are, in regards to this discussion, worthless. The SBOE is not the same as the university president. The SBOE is responsible for all the universities in the state and must act independent of the wishes of UI; This means that their actions are more independent and do carry more weight in regards to the reputation of UI than the actions of the UI president. Further, articles from several news sources (as well as statements from UI's president) have been presented that do indicate that the change was significant, meaningful and being viewed by the outside world as important toward the reputation of UI. If you're looking for good sources, the LSU link was an excellent source. It listed UI as a "flagship" university in very clear language and was from an unbiased outside source. In this case it's not as relevant because it's 6 years old and from before the mission statement change. Find something like it from after the change and it will alter the course of this discussion. Otherwise, a rough consensus on language and placement (in the timeline) seems to have been reached. If you have new, unbiased sources to add to the discussion I'd be eager to see them. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 21:19, 3 March 2012 (UTC). — — — ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— On Wednesday, January 21, 2015, President Obama visited and spoke at Boise State University. After the fact the Magic Valley Times Editorial Board published an editorial saying "The U.S. president’s visit to Idaho’s flagship university Wednesday was a big deal." (link:

The paper appears to be the epitome of unbiased on this issue. The paper is from the Magic Valley in Idaho, so while they are familiar with the education system in Idaho neither Boise State nor the University of Idaho are in the Magic Valley. The editorial was written by the editorial board, reflecting the opinion of several people. Further, the opinion editor of the paper (Jon Alexander) was born and raised in New York (although I haven't been able to find his college information) (source: the bio on the right side of the page). The Editor (Jon Christensen) went to Iowa State University ( So no one involved with the paper or the editorial board appears to be biased on this issue.

This is precicely what Wikipedia asks for when making a change to an article, an independent media source reporting something that can be linked and verified.

Further, a google news search for "university of idaho" and "flagship" produces no recent hits. The most recent is 2012 articles reporting that "flagship" had been removed from UI's mission statement.

Given the removal of "flagship" from the mission statement in 2012 and independent media sources refering to Boise State as the state's "flagship university" it is no longer appropriate for the University of Idaho to have the "Flagship universities in the United States" link in the footer.

I realize this may be upsetting to UI advocates, so if anyone has any links to the contrary please post them to further the discussion. Otherwise, I'll remove the link in the footer after a couple days. I've left the "flagship" discussion in the talk page for reference but nothing's been added in nearly 3 years. If a few days goes by with no real input I'll scrap that discussion as well (as it's long, outdated, and would no longer be relevant if the flagship designation is removed completely). (talk) 03:31, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Having given this over a month and seeing no dissenting opinion, I'm removing the "flagship" link in the footer. Before reversing edits or adding it back in, please post in talk and allow the wikipedia community to weigh in. (talk) 22:16, 8 March 2015 (UTC)

The newspaper article user has posted is noted. However, the newspaper article alone does not meet WP:UNDUE. Other sources continue to identify either directly or indirectly that the University of Idaho is still the flagship institution.

For example:
  • The Higher Education in Idaho of 2015 document states that "As a student of Idaho's leading research and land-grant university" a link is at: . This implies it is both the land grant institution and the flagship institution. In other previously cited sources the land grant institution is almost always also the flagship institution or one of the flagship institutions in states that have multiple systems of higher education.
  • Second the University of Idaho states in the Mission Statement posted on it's website that "Our commitment to focused excellence includes developing and delivering pre-eminent statewide programs. These programs are delivered in the Morrill Act-mandated primary emphases areas in agriculture, natural resources, and engineering; and sustaining excellence in architecture, law, liberal arts, sciences, education, business and economics, and programs in medical and veterinary medical education, all of which shape the core curriculum and give meaning to the concept of a flagship university." This one is located at:
  • The Washington State University - Pulman website (a nearby institution?) states in it's Rewarding Careers page that "The largest employer in Pullman is Washington State University. Idaho’s flagship research university lies just 10 miles to the east in the city of Moscow. Together the two universities employ nearly 10,000 people." Reference from 2015 and is at:
  • The Spokesman-Review in Jan-2015 called University of Idaho "Idaho's flagship university" in relation to an enrollment downturn.

  • Current google search for University of Idaho flagship and Idaho Flagship university clearly show a number of hits in relation to this institution.
  • In the book A Creature of Our Own Making: Reflections on Contemporary Academic Life' by Dr Gary Olson (Idaho State?) now at SUNY in 2013 the following quotes:
"That the Board required "Boise State University must rerain from stating that it provides leadership in academics, research and civic engagement."
"So in the case of the state of Idaho, while the State board has the authority to instruct the University of Idaho not to use the word "flagship" to describe itself, this does not change the fact that it is the state's land-grant institution, that it is the only public institution with a law school, and that it outpaces the other state instutitions in research and graduate education. It is in, other words, de facto the state's flagship regardless of any "official" designation." - Page 86 Chapter A creature of Our Own Making
Given these references, and the existing publications which previously recognize the University of Idaho as the public flagship of Idaho, one cannot simply demote the University of Idaho. Then turn around and put Boise State University as the flagship. The statement and action by the 2012 Board of Education suggest it holds none of the universities above each other. The website on Boise State University does not claim in it's mission or role that it is a 'flagship' or that it it 'the' flagship institution. So that claim holds no water.
Additionally, given the characteristics of each institution in Idaho, it is clear that the University of Idaho is the most similar to flagship institutions in other states. Other states do not legally or officially designate a flagship institution. It is known given the characteristics of the institution and given the land grant status, selectivity, number and type of programs, age of institution etc.
For these reasons I have removed the category of flagship for Boise State University. I will re-add the designation to the University of Idaho pending further discussion. If no consensus is reached then no institution should receive recognition per the original reasoning to remove the designation from the University of Idaho. There clearly has been some POV in the editing of these articles. For full disclosure I have not attended either institution and I am not a resident in the same region. I have no relation to either in any way. Randomeditor1000 (talk) 06:22, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

Katie Benoit[edit]

There should be a history section in this article. I don't think anyone will disagree with that. But I think a paragraph on the Katie Benoit murder should be in here. Although murders on college campuses are not really uncommon, the murder of a student by her mentally ill professor, who was having an affair with her is definitely uncommon and deserving of mention. Gtwfan52 (talk) 08:59, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

{{refimprove}} tag?[edit]

The article has been tagged with {{refimprove}} for four and a half years now. Looking through the article, it seems to have a few sections on the campus and the entire Student Life section that are in need of explicit cites - on first glance, it looks like some of the pre-existing refs may be appropriate - but this tag looks mostly outdated now. Do we think we can get an explicit cite for these few sections and get rid of the maintenance tag? VanIsaacWS Vexcontribs 09:12, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to 6 external links on University of Idaho. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

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N Archived sources still need to be checked

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