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Will Hughes Appointed Director of the Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering

As the College of Innovation and Design enters its fourth academic year at Boise State, it is with great support that we announce and celebrate Dr. Will Hughes as he transitions into the next phase of the journey. We congratulate him on his new role as Director of the School of Materials Science and Engineering and his launch of the Nucleic Acid Memory (NAM) Institute. With this comes a shift in leadership for CID, and we look forward to the opportunity this transition allows for continued thoughtful collaboration within our community.

Dr. Hughes will continue to work with the College of Innovation and Design as a senior advisor and fellow. We are excited for the ways his new roles will strengthen the partnership between the College of Engineering and The College of Innovation and Design as the network of influence expands and evolves.

With this transition, Dr. Will Hughes models the entrepreneurial and evolutionary spirit of the College of Innovation and Design. Good experiments yield positive results and expand into new territories of knowledge, influence and opportunity. Will’s successful transition sets an important precedent for every person, program, and initiative that is a valued contributor to the story of the College of Innovation and Design. We are grateful for his generous and thoughtful contributions thus far, and look forward to the future, with the belief that the best is yet to come for him, the College of Innovation and Design, and Boise State University.

In 2015, the College of Innovation and Design was created to serve as a catalyst for Boise State, a model for higher education, and a partner to ventures looking for visionary university partners. It represents Boise State’s commitment to and investment in the future of higher education and what it will mean to the students, communities, and industries that will house and hire them.

A primary function of the college is to de-risk experiments and serve as an incubator for the university. From inception to launch, an objective of the college is that as an idea matures into a scalable solution that meets a Boise State need, the experiment will evolve into its next maturation cycle, where it can continue to thrive and bloom beyond its walls. To hold onto any one experiment would devalue the purpose of The College of Innovation and Design and those that inhabit its space. It is a sign of health and vibrance when a program, initiative, or individual member develops to the point of expansion beyond CID.

While there is deep gratitude for the many hands that helped to lay the foundation for The College of Innovation and Design, there are two for whom special thanks is well deserved. Founding Dean, Gordon Jones and Inaugural Associate Dean, Dr. Will Hughes. Although the concept of the college has on occasion initiated some raised eyebrows, they have together trailblazed a series of pathways that continue to spark conversations with national industry, university and media leaders and have given cause for educators to begin asking some very important questions about how to best address the evolving needs of new demographics of learners.

The collaboration between Dean Jones, an entrepreneurial educator and Dr. Hughes, a Professor of Materials Science with a critical eye for design, continues to model a foundational element of The College of Innovation and Design: the willingness to cross disciplinary boundaries in pursuit of impactful solutions for higher education.