Public Affairs Report
Dr. John Freemuth, Boise State professor and Andrus Center for Public Policy Director, will sit alongside former Idaho Bureau of Land Management Director Tim Murphy and U of I professor and Policy Analysis Group Director Dennis Becker in a panel at the upcoming Boise Policy Pub event. This event is the finale of a string of events hosted by The University of Idaho’s James A. and Louise McClure Center for Public Policy Research. The panelists will discuss their past work with public lands and look at lands issues from various perspectives. McClure Center Director Katherine Himes will direct an audience Q&A over drinks after the panelists’ discussion.
The event will take place this Thursday, May 3rd at Pengilly’s Saloon on 513 W. Main St. The event is free and open to the public.
Boise State Public Policy and Administration and Master of Public Health graduate students researched homelessness this semester, taking a special look at housing insecurity among university students. In addition to the academic research, a service-learning component comprised an integral part of the Introduction to Public Administration course.
The students prepared and served dinner to 50 families and children at the Interfaith Sanctuary over two nights in early March. They also participated in the City of Boise Point in Time Count in January, which counted the number of individuals experiencing homelessness. This data helps determine the amount of federal funding awarded for homeless programs locally and also helps the city better grasp the nature of homelessness in the community.
The students presented their research findings to university and community housing leaders on April 25. Their three group presentations analyzed conditions contributing to student homelessness and made actionable recommendations for addressing the issue.
A presentation titled Highway to Housing discussed factors contributing to housing insecurity among students. Among the challenges for Boise State students are a housing shortage in the downtown and campus area, along with a lack of transportation between lower-cost housing areas and campus. The group also noted approximately half the cost of Idaho higher education is now paid through student tuition and fees, as opposed to twenty years ago when it was almost entirely financed through state funds. The group also noted that while median income has doubled since 1984, the cost of higher education has nearly quadrupled. As a result of financial strain, students frequently work more hours than are conducive to student success.
The presentation Student Homelessness on College Campuses: A proposal for emergency short-term housing services examines the approaches taken by universities nationally to tackle housing insecurity. For example, the University of Utah has created a “Student Homelessness Task Force” with over 20 university offices and departments participating. Their program, in which housing-insecure students are assigned a Student Success Advocate, typically spends around $600 to retain a student.
The Resource Navigator presentation explored the reality of daily life for homeless students and examined the statistics surrounding student housing insecurity nationally and at Boise State. The group noted the complexities of the financial aid application process can be a hurdle to low-income families. This is evidenced by 11% of nationally surveyed students receiving Pell grants, a program designed to assist low-income students, who experienced homelessness in the past year.
While each of the three presentations had a different focus, there were several common recommendations. Recurring proposals included: forming a task force comprised of relevant university offices, the inclusion of a “Basic Needs Statement” addressing housing insecurity in all university course syllabi, participating in the University of Wisconsin HOPE lab study, and the eventual creation of case management positions on campus to better follow up with students after services have been provided.
Dr. Brian Pappas recently authored an article for The Blue Review titled “Out from the Shadows” about the epidemic of peer sexual violence occurring on college campuses across the nation. In it he addresses the dilemma universities face in “determining how to create fair, consistent, and reliable processes that respect the rights of both alleged perpetrators and survivors, while at the same time encouraging people to bring complaints forward.” Read “Out from the Shadows” in the Blue Review.
Dr. John Freemuth, executive director of the Andrus Center for Public Policy, was quoted by KTVB Channel 7 on water and urbanization. Meridian just surpassed a population of 100,000 and Dr. Freemuth stated, “Let’s get ahead of the curve while we’ve got enough water and we’re not fighting each other over mine versus yours. The big question is as we urbanize are we still using that same amount of water or is there more water available for other uses? We have to find that out and through good science, I think we can learn a lot more.”
Watch the video and read the full article here: http://www.ktvb.com/article/news/local/meridians-population-surpasses-100000/277-540796831
Jen Schneider recently co-authored a piece for a journal titled Frontier in Communication: Science and Environmental Communication with Jennifer Peeples of Utah State University. Their article, titled “The Energy Covenant: Dominance and the Rhetoric of the Aggrieved,” explores the Trump Administration’s guiding energy policy ideology of “energy dominance,” a notable shift from decades of “energy security” rhetoric. It also analyzes how Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke uses “energy covenant renewal” to frame the importance of energy dominance. Read the full article Read The Energy Covenant: Dominance and the Rhetoric of the Aggrieved.
Original Source: Boise State Update 4/5/2018
John Freemuth was featured in a Lewiston Tribune article about a recent poll of 400 Washington residents that measured attitudes toward salmon, dams, and the expense for power. You can access the poll and results here, and read the full article here.
Original Source: John Freemuth, Boise State Update 4/5/2018
An interdisciplinary team of faculty and graduate students led by professors Jen Schneider and Shawn Benner, and postdoctoral researcher Jillian Moroney, launched the website Treasure Valley Water Atlas at the Idaho’s Water conference on Tuesday, April 17, hosted by the Andrus Center for Public Policy.
The website is designed to serve as a resource for Treasure Valley decision makers, educators and water users. The site features six narratives, including an examination of the source of Treasure Valley water, a discussion of how water is delivered and used, a primer on water law, a case study on water refill and an exploration of the potential future of water in the Treasure Valley.
The Boise State team also includes doctoral student Christopher Torres and masters student Ana Costa, both from the Department of Public Policy and Administration, and geosciences graduate student Curtis Crandall.
Read more about the Water Atlas in an article published by Jillian Moroney, Christopher Torres and Curtis Crandall in The Blue Review.
Ph.D. student Christopher Torres has been awarded a fellowship with the University of Michigan’s Environmental Fellows Program for this summer (sponsored by the School for Environment and Sustainability). He will be working with the Pisces Foundation in San Francisco, contributing to their efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in the grant-making process to environmental and conservation efforts. Way to go, Chris!
Matthew May’s article titled “Federal employees work for both Democrats and Republicans – even Kellyanne Conway” was recently published in The Conversation. In it, May discusses the presence of neutrality in today’s hyperpartisan political climate. Read “Federal employees work for both Democrats and Republicans – even Kellyanne Conway” in The Conversation.
Original Sources: Boise State Update, Matthew May 3/26/2018, The Conversation 3/23/2018
Steven Feldstein’s article titled “Who is John Bolton and what does he want?” was recently published in The Conversation. In it, he suggests that Bolton falls into the extreme end of the “realist camp,” a political subgroup that views international relations as a competition for power among self-interested states. Read “Who is John Bolton” in The Conversation.