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President’s Letter to Friends of Boise State

March 24, 2008

Dear Friends,

Boise State University’s success has been phenomenal. The growth of our student body, the strengthening of our academics and the blossoming of our research are all showing the way to a very bright future here. However, finding space for all of our pursuits on campus has proven to be a challenge.

With this in mind, the Boise State University Foundation is in the process of purchasing 8.3 acres of property and an 80,000-square-foot building on Parkcenter Boulevard from SUPERVALU. Once the agreement is finalized, the Foundation will lease the property to the university.

Our vision for this new addition, which is located approximately one mile from the main campus via the Greenbelt, is the development of a new research park. It could be especially useful to those units that have strong relationships with community partners. We are currently developing a list of centers, groups or units at Boise State that would be a good fit for the property – particularly those that don’t rely heavily on specialized laboratory space or classrooms and those that engage regularly with the community. Of course, the space vacated by units moving to the research park can be remodeled for our highest priorities here on the main campus.

Special thanks should go to our partner in this agreement, SUPERVALU. The Foundation will pay $7 million for the building, and SUPERVALU will gift a portion of the property’s market value – a gift in excess of $3 million – to the Foundation.

With careful planning, this new asset will become an incubator for ideas and innovations that advance the research and academic mission of Boise State. It represents an opportunity to expand our research capacity and better connect the work of our faculty and students with the needs of the community. It comes at the perfect time to assist our progress on our strategic plan.

More information about the building and the agreement is available online at Boise State’s news Web site.

As always, thank you for all you do for Boise State.


Bob Kustra

Here are a few recent or upcoming items of interest from Boise State University:

  • Boise State University has a new program for students who aim to graduate in four years. “Finish in Four” guarantees that students who follow a planned course of study can complete their degrees in four years. If not, Boise State will pay for the additional required courses. It is Idaho’s only four-year graduation guarantee. There is no cost to students to participate in the program and no penalty for students who withdraw. For more information go to
  • William McDonough, internationally renowned “green” designer and winner of the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development, will speak as part of the Boise State University Distinguished Lecture Series just days before Earth Day. McDonough will speak at 7 p.m. April 17 in the Morrison Center. His lecture, “The Next Industrial Revolution,” is free and no tickets are required. Limited seating is available on a first-come basis. Doors open at 6 p.m. and parking is free.
  • Biology professor Troy Rohn’s research on Alzheimer’s disease is the subject of a paper he authored for the March 12 edition of the Journal of Neuroscience. Rohn’s study shows that overproducing a protein known as Bcl-2 prevents the formation of plaques and tangles in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease affected transgenic mice. Plaques and tangles are the two hallmark pathologies associated with individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Bcl-2 is an anti-apoptotic protein, which means it arrests the suicidal mechanism that controls cell death during development and maturation. Apoptosis is thought to be a major contributor to the disease pathology associated with Alzheimer’s.
  • Approximately 134 research projects by more than 300 undergraduate students at Boise State will be highlighted during the 5th Annual Undergraduate Research & Scholarship Conference from 1-4 p.m. April 14. This annual conference provides Boise State undergraduate students an opportunity to share their research projects with students, faculty, staff and the public in a diverse range of disciplines in the sciences, engineering humanities and the arts. The entire conference is free and open to everyone. Refreshments will be served. For more information about the conference go to
  • Up to 101 fourth- through eighth-grade students from across Idaho will gather at Boise State University April 4 to vie for the right to represent Idaho at the National Geographic Bee in Washington, D.C. Boise State will host 101 contestants at the Idaho State Geography Bee. The top 10 scorers in a morning preliminary round will square off in the finals at 12:30-2 p.m. in the Special Events Center in Boise State’s Student Union Building. The state winner earns a trip to the national finals at the National Geographic Society headquarters May 20-21, while the national winner will receive a $25,000 college scholarship.


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