News Release

Aug. 16, 2006

Kustra Stresses Boise State's Metropolitan Mission, Student Success in State of the University Address

click here to read a transcript of the entire address

Drawing upon Boise State University’s strategic vision, President Bob Kustra stressed the school’s commitment to transform itself into a metropolitan research institution of higher education and the need to assure student success during his State of the University address this morning. "Let’s commit ourselves to our students, to the people of the region and state we serve as Idaho’s distinctive metropolitan research university," he said.

KTVB’s 24/7 cable channel (28) will air a one-hour broadcast of the State of the University address today at 9 p.m. and again on Thursday at 11 a.m., 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. A complete transcript of Kustra’s speech, "Fulfilling Our Metropolitan Mission," is available online on the President’s home page of Boise State’s Web site.

At the annual convocation of staff and faculty to start the new school year, Kustra pointed to Boise State’s expanding role in the life of the region from both an efficiency and effectiveness standpoint. "It only makes sense for the home university — with its campus in the heart of the region — to play the lead role in the education of its citizens and the research that serves as the foundation of our economy and our communities," he said.

Kustra, who is beginning his fourth year as Boise State’s president, particularly focused his remarks on the university’s focus to respond to regional needs while striving for national excellence, as delineated in its strategic plan "Charting the Course."

The strategic plan is a reminder, Kustra said, of the four themes guiding the university’s future: academic excellence, public engagement, vibrant culture and exceptional research. "It shows our destination, the goals we need to work on to get us there, and some milestones along the way to judge our progress," he said. "The goals don’t necessarily reflect everything Boise State will do, but rather signify the most critical areas to be addressed in order for us to achieve our vision."

Among the resources and strategies to accomplish the university’s goal, Kustra listed the following:

New and expanded degrees and program offerings beginning this semester with a Ph.D. in geosciences, Idaho’s first and only Executive MBA program, and master’s degree programs in hydrologic sciences and educational leadership. Kustra also noted that 51 new faculty members were joining Boise State.

The early stages of a comprehensive fund-raising campaign, which "will quite literally define, in ways that the state government’s limited resources cannot, the future of the university," Kustra said. He also pointed out that the Boise State Foundation has posted its two best fund-raising years with $13.9 million in fiscal year 2006 and $18.1 million in FY ’05.

Sound financial management as the university continues to manage its resources wisely "through the judicious use of our financial reserves," Kustra said. Examples he used included the university’s recent purchase of the University Inn and other properties near the main campus and the remodeling of research lab space.

Facility construction, which includes the ongoing building of the Interactive Learning Center, due for completion in June 2007, as well plans for the expansion and renovation of the Student Union; the construction of a student health, wellness and counseling center/nursing building and a parking garage; and long-range plans for a College of Business and Economics building.

Assuring student success through a number of initiatives to make certain Boise State’s students receive the support they need because "if our students do not succeed, nothing else we might have accomplished really matters. In the coming years, you will see us roll out a number of strategies to assure that our students receive the support they need to succeed at Boise State," the president said.

The final two points are clearly linked and together give Boise State perhaps its biggest challenge, Kustra said. "Not enough of Idaho’s high school students are enrolling in some form of postsecondary education, and of those who do enroll, too many drop out during or at the conclusion of the first year," he said. "It will take the work of our entire faculty and staff in creating and sustaining an environment that dramatically improves our students’ success. "

The first day of classes for the fall 2006 semester is Aug. 21. The residence halls open at noon on Aug. 18.


Media Contact: Frank Zang, University Communications, (208) 426-5391

Boise State University is the largest institution of higher education in Idaho with about 18,600 students and 2,200 faculty and staff. More than 190 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and technical degrees are offered within eight colleges. A metropolitan university located in the capital city, Boise State is committed to life-enhancing research, teaching excellence and public service.

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Last reviewed on Wednesday, January 03, 2007