University of Idaho president Dr. Don Burnett traveled down to the Pocatello Rotary Club on Thursday afternoon to discuss the necessity of the state's universities working together to further the state's economy.
"You will see scientists at the University of Idaho, Idaho State University, Boise State University, all working together in collaboration with staff from the Idaho National Laboratory," Burnett said. "That, we think, is the model for the future. We can't be competing against each other. We need to be cooperating with each other."
Burnett said ISU and U of I have worked closely together to sustain growth in both institutions which are now the leading research universities in the state.
He also said one of the most critical outcomes of collaborative research is that it brings more money into the state, which then goes through the multiplier almost every economist knows about.
In this case, we're talking about an eight-to-one ratio. Meaning, for every dollar U of I brings in, that dollar is turned over in the economy about eight times.
Burnett said there is also a big push for keeping students local by finding ways the state can provide more local opportunities post-graduation. This will provide more incentives for high school students to also attend school within Idaho, which will keep that green flowing.
He said national studies show by the year 2024, two-thirds of the country's jobs will require some form of post-secondary education. With Idaho showing merely one-third of the population has attended college, state education leaders have their work cut out for them.