In Dr. Bob Kustra’s 10 years as president, Boise State University has grown to more than 20,000 students with over 3,700 graduates a year. While the majority of our students hail from Idaho, current enrollment is characterized by substantial increases in out of state and international students as well as higher entering grade point averages than a decade ago. About 95 percent of new freshmen attend as full-time students compared to just 68 percent in 2001.
Our metropolitan research campus has expanded considerably in Dr. Kustra’s tenure and now boasts state-of-the art multidisciplinary buildings, high-tech classrooms, clean rooms and laboratories and cutting-edge facilities for the arts, business and economics, engineering, science, public policy and more. The university has more than doubled its graduate offerings and has become the fastest-growing research enterprise in Idaho.
Dr. Kustra’s administration has also been marked by an emphasis on upgrading admissions standards to the highest of all Idaho’s public universities, improving the undergraduate experience and nurturing a vibrant campus life. He led the first comprehensive campaign in university history, Destination Distinction, besting the goal of $185 million in private support for faculty, student scholarships and campus infrastructure. He has also been instrumental in the fundraising drive to expand Bronco Stadium and the launch of a new scholarship campaign.
Before coming to Idaho, Dr. Kustra had a long and distinguished career in public service in Illinois, serving two terms as lieutenant governor, and 10 years in the Illinois legislature, where he served in leadership. He chaired the Illinois Board of Higher Education, responsible for funding and oversight of the state’s nine public universities.
He served as president of the Midwestern Higher Education Commission and of Eastern Kentucky University. He has held faculty positions at Northwestern University, the University of Illinois-Chicago, Loyola University of Chicago and the University of Illinois- Springfield.
Dr. Kustra was a member of the NCAA Division I board of directors and executive committee and served on the Presidential Task Force on the Future of Intercollegiate Athletics. He also served as a Commissioner of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. He has been inducted into the Idaho Hall of Fame and was named the Most Influential Person in the Boise valley by The Idaho Statesman.
Each week, Dr. Kustra features lively conversations with some of the nation’s leading authors about issues and ideas that matter today on his radio show, Reader’s Corner, which airs weekly on Boise State’s NPR station.