Dear new friends,
It is an honor to be writing to you as Boise State University’s seventh president. It has been wonderful to meet so many people since my arrival, and I look forward to getting to know many more of you!
I am excited to be leading a university with a record of blazing new trails across academic fields, in teaching, in service to the world and in tackling complex problems. This work has earned Boise State national recognition for its special capacity for innovation, creativity and thinking that defies traditional structures and practices. Other institutions simply cannot do what Boise State is poised to do.
We have created a new model of what a leading-edge research university can provide for its students, from their first weeks on campus through graduate school and beyond. We have been bold about the ways we deliver curriculum so that it better meets the needs of our students — students who, unlike those who went to school in my generation, have spent their entire lives with computers in their hands. We have thought differently about how we integrate research into the student experience.
Climbing in the National Rankings
We recently moved up seven spots to No. 42 in U.S. News and World Report’s rankings for innovation. This ranking recognizes us as a leader in an elite field of hundreds of “national universities.” Measuring innovations in curriculum, faculty research, student success, campus life and technology, this honor is one of which you can be very proud, just as we are proud of the “Blue Turf” thinking of our faculty and staff that brought us to this point.
Boise State’s unique and meteoric trajectory in American public higher education — moving from a junior college to a Carnegie-designated Research 2 university so quickly — has helped us avoid sliding into the well-trammeled paths of more traditional, settled universities. Our willingness to break out of that mold has made us a national and international leader, even while we deliver the most economically efficient degree in the state and one of the most efficient in the country.
Facing New Challenges
Entering into a new landscape of national research universities produces new challenges. Here, the horizons are higher, the mountains steeper, and we are often striving to surpass universities that have much deeper pockets than we do. Just as our student athletes often compete against teams with budgets 3-5 times as large as ours, our academic programs are being compared with those whose budgets might exceed ours by a factor of 10 or more.
As we move into the future together, we must provide support for the innovative and devoted faculty who have built Boise State into the great university that it is today, and we need to attract new world-class faculty who are both top teachers and top researchers.
Idaho deserves it. Our students deserve it.
We also need to support students through scholarships that reward their hard work and encourage the transformational change that we know a college degree can deliver to an entire family, a city and a region. One of my initiatives this year is helping to endow our True Blue Scholarship for Idaho students. You can learn more and give by visiting boi.st/trueblue.
Fortunately, we have a growing base of support that will help us meet these demands. Some 25,000 individuals and organizations gave more than $25 million to Boise State last year alone. We now have nearly 100,000 living alumni — people like you who care about our critical, grand and beautiful mission of serving our students. Each step we take has untold benefits for our students, our community and our state.
Your work and support have helped get us here, and I am so proud to be part of this special place. I look forward to all that we will achieve together.
— Dr. Marlene Tromp, Boise State University President