BOISE -- The leaders of the University of Idaho are road-tripping across Idaho for both practical and historical reasons
For the past two days, the university's president, its deans, and several key faculty members have boarded a tour bus to survey the university's facilities outside of its flagship Moscow, Idaho location.
The tour was planned to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act -- a key piece of legislation that enabled the university's creation.
President Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act 150 years ago. The act gave federal land to states to create a public university to teach agriculture and mechanical arts to the working class. The University of Idaho was created because of this act.
On Thursday -- the final day of the tour -- the bus will stop at the Hagerman Fish Culture Experiment Station. Here, university leaders will learn about the research being done to advance aquaculture, or the farming of fish.
President Duane Nellis says each stop helps the university's leaders learn about the different departments within the university.
"Many of them have not necessarily experienced all the different dimensions of the university because they focus on the areas where they have their expertise," said Nellis. "But we think it is important that the leadership team see the breadth of our university first-hand."
Mark Hoversten, Dean of the College of Art and Architecture, says when the University's various departments learn more about each other, their professors can do a better job teaching students.
"Everything is connected to everything else," Hoversten said. "So, it is important for each of the leadership team to understand what the other members are doing."
Touring the whitewater park in Cascade, Idaho
Earlier in the week, Hoversten got to show off some of the design work his architecture students completed for the whitewater park in Cascade, Idaho. Hoversten said his students helped with the project for almost three years.
Meanwhile, President Nellis hopes the tour also will also show his colleagues the impact his university has across Idaho. For example, Nellis says the university's Hagerman facility is the second largest employer in the West Magic Valley.
Previous tour stops have included a lumber mill in Grangeville, a dairy farm in Kimberly and the Moss Science Center in McCall.