Federal Relations at the University of Idaho
The primary goal of the Federal Relations program at the University of Idaho is to communicate the University of Idaho’s federal funding and policy needs with Idaho’s Congressional representatives in Washington, D.C. Outreach efforts also focus on members of executive agencies, Congressional committees and other decision-makers at the federal level.
President Chuck Staben and Vice President for Research and Economic Development Janet E. Nelson are the official voices for these efforts. Federal relations are managed on an ongoing basis by Nelson. With assistance from D.C.-based consultant Carolyn Fuller, the VPRED is responsible for a range of research, policy, regulatory and legislative activities, including monitoring developments in Congress and the executive branch and developing appropriate responses; identifying research opportunities and supporting pursuit of them; and expanding collaborations with other institutions, national higher education organizations, foundations, private groups and others.
The federal government invests approximately $40 billion each year in academic research at U.S. colleges and universities. Most of this funding comes through six federal agencies: Health and Human Services/National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA). The University of Idaho is ranked by the Carnegie Foundation as a "high research activity" university.
The federal government also provides significant amounts of student aid, principally through the Pell Grant program. Approximately 40 percent of our students receive Pell Grants.
These financial aid disbursements come with requirements for data collection and reporting as well as regulations, all of which impact an institution's operation as well as requiring administrative time and resources to respond. Substantial staff time is required to meet federal requirements and monitor and respond to funding opportunities.
For more information about U of I federal relations, contact Janet E. Nelson at [email protected].