Dr. Robert A. Hoover, outlines what we as Vandal fans need to do during this time of Athletic Department growth amid sharp budget cuts."> Dr. Robert A. Hoover, outlines what we as Vandal fans need to do during this time of Athletic Department growth amid sharp budget cuts.">

A "Friday Letter" of Note

As universities around the nation face significant budget crunches, athletic departments are typically among the hardest hit. The University of Idaho is certainly no different. This most recent "Friday Letter" written by our University President, <b>Dr. Robert A. Hoover</b>, outlines what we as Vandal fans need to do during this time of Athletic Department growth amid sharp budget cuts.

The Friday Letter
A Newsletter for University of Idaho Alumni and Friends
June 14, 2002

Dear Friday Letter reader,

An area that took one of the biggest hits in our recent budget challenges and that has been scrutinized the most is the UI Athletics Department. As part of the executive administration, Athletics was asked to return 10.8 percent of its state funding for FY 03, on top of the 4.7 percent of the state funding held back in FY 02 for a total of 15.5 percent holdback in FY 03. Other units were asked to cut between 5.5 and 7.5 percent. This decision, in part, was made to protect the integrity of our academic offerings, but it has made a significant impact on Vandal athletics in terms of personnel, travel flexibility and operating dollars.

Additionally, the Vandal Scholarship Fund (VSF) must raise more scholarship dollars ($123,732) to cover increased scholarship costs including the 12 percent student fee increase approved by the Idaho Board of Education earlier this spring. The athletics department funds approximately 185 full grants, distributed among its nearly 400 student-athletes at an annual cost of $1.6 million.

To meet these operating fund challenges, we recently unveiled the "Vandal Victory" campaign as part of The Campaign for Idaho. Vandal Victory is designed to build a financial foundation to guarantee long-term Division I-A viability and success. The way to succeed in Division I-A is to steadily generate enough support from private sources to maintain our existing level of competition and eventually complete the second phase of the Vandal Athletic Center.

Changes in the NCAA membership criteria make the next two years pivotal for us. Now is the time for every Vandal to support this effort as a Vandal Scholarship Fund member, 12th-man ticket purchaser or season ticket holder.

Winning on the playing field, in the classroom and in the community are the ultimate goals of Vandal Victory. Accomplishing those goals means increasing the number of involved supporters to help us recruit and retain quality players and coaches, positioning ourselves to become more attractive to an all-sports conference with regional membership and improving our facilities to benefit our student-athletes and our fans.

A strong intercollegiate athletics program is an integral part of the University of Idaho's strategic plan to be a residential campus of choice. It offers incredible opportunities to student-athletes, and at the same time, enriches the educational experience and diversity of all our students. It is the cornerstone of our alumni relationships and a rallying point for citizens throughout the state. I urge you to get in the game with me. There has never been a more important time to show your Vandal pride and participate in the Vandal Victory campaign.

Go Vandals!

Bob Hoover

For more information about these items, please contact University Communications and Marketing at (208) 885-6291 or uinews@uidaho.edu




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